TAMPA, Fla. — Saturday's report from the Florida Department of Health showed the state added another 11,458 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 for July 3.
It's the highest single-day total for positive test results returned in Florida, but it also coincides with the most total test results being submitted so far. According to the state's report, 85,086 test results were received from labs on July 3.
Based on the July 3 data, the state said another 18 Florida residents had died from coronavirus.
July 3 marked the 11th straight day where the number of newly reported coronavirus cases was more than 5,000.
The health department said of the 85,086 test results that were turned in on July 3, 14.1 percent were positive.
Though health experts have repeatedly said that a 5 percent positivity rate or lower is recommended to begin reopening, Florida has seen about a week of percentages of more than double that.
And, the latest daily report is nearly triple that amount. The state has been in Phase Two of reopening for nearly a month.
Here's a breakdown of the new coronavirus cases reported to the state by day:
- June 21: 2,926
- June 22: 3,286
- June 23: 5,508
- June 24: 5,004
- June 25: 8,942
- June 26: 9,585
- June 27: 8,530
- June 28: 5,266
- June 29: 6,093
- June 30: 6,563
- July 1: 10,109
- July 2: 9,488
- July 3: 11,458
We should note that if you look at the state's dashboard for new coronavirus cases, some of the numbers look different than ours -- at least for daily new cases. That's because the state is only tracking Florida residents, not total cases in Florida, on its dashboard. It only tracks the latter within its daily report. And, the chart on the state's website is regularly being revised to say a case happened on one day instead of another.
For consistency, we've decided to track total cases reported each day. Those totals don't change, so it's our most consistent way of measuring trends, even if the state moves data around on its dashboard. For transparency's sake, here's a direct link to the state's data if you'd like to examine Florida's numbers for yourself.
It is difficult to track precisely how many people are hospitalized with COVID-19 at any given point in Florida. Since the pandemic began, the state confirms a total of 15,735 residents have been hospitalized. But, that count includes anyone who was hospitalized at any point during their illness. It does not reflect the number of people currently in the hospital.
The Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) does update hospital bed and ICU availability by county.
Some counties have taken steps to illustrate that information. For example, Pinellas County offers a daily look at coronavirus hospitalizations in the area.
Between adult and pediatric beds, Pinellas County has about 370 ICU beds total. As of Saturday morning, 21.6 percent of those were filled with COVID-19 patients. The majority of them, about 67.3 percent, were filled with patients who do not have coronavirus. A little more than 11 percent of ICU beds were available.
On Friday, BayCare said their four hospitals in Pinellas County would limit the number of elective surgeries performed. This, after the health care system said it saw a decline in available hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
Still, the concern with COVID-19 is that having any number of cases puts a strain on the healthcare system. While most counties don't say exactly how many of their full beds are being occupied by coronavirus patients at a given moment, we can use total ICU bed occupancy as an indicator of how full hospitals are right now.
To that end, as of Saturday morning in Florida, 20.32 percent of the state's 6,077 adult ICU beds were available compared with 35.07 percent of the state's 576 total pediatric ICU beds. That's according to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration.
We've chosen to focus on adult ICU beds in the list below because not every county offers complete data on pediatric ICU capacity. However, as we've reported, a growing number of children in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have tested positive for COVID-19.
In total, based on the data below, 251 of the Tampa Bay area's 1,354 adult ICU beds were open, as of Saturday morning. That means about 18.5 percent were available.
Around the Tampa Bay area, here is the breakdown:
Citrus: 6 of 35 adult ICU beds available
DeSoto: 0 of 8 adult ICU beds available
Hardee: No ICU data
Hernando: 19 of 63 adult ICU beds available
Highlands: 15 of 36 adult ICU beds available
Hillsborough: 51 of 425 adult ICU beds available
Manatee: 29 of 90 adult ICU beds available
Pasco: 26 of 132 adult ICU beds available
Pinellas: 44 of 303 adult ICU beds available
Polk: 23 of 150 adult ICU beds available
Sarasota: 38 of 112 adult ICU beds available
**Editor's Note: The state doesn't offer ICU availability for Hardee County. But, for some perspective: as of Friday morning, two of the county's 23 hospital beds were available for an 8 percent availability.
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