Florida reports rise in number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients

Matthew Rocco and Peter Wells in New York

The number of Covid-19 patients currently hospitalised in Florida has risen above 8,000, as states across the US south and west grapple with the spread of coronavirus.

Florida reported on Monday that 8,088 people with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19 were being treated, according to the state agency overseeing hospitals. There were 6,974 coronavirus-related hospitalisations as of Friday, when Florida began reporting the figures.

Miami-Dade county represented 1,807 of those hospitalisations, with another 1,209 in neighbouring Broward county.

Florida’s health department also reported 12,624 new coronavirus cases on Monday, equal to 11.5 per cent of all people tested during the 24-hour period when excluding those who had previously tested positive. There were 35 additional deaths attributed to the virus, the lowest daily toll since July 5. The state has tallied 4,381 deaths since the pandemic began.

The latest daily increase takes Florida’s seven-day average of new cases to 10,855 a day, the first time any state has averaged more than 10,000. On Sunday, when Florida revealed a 15,300-person jump in new cases – a record for any US state – Florida’s seven-day average surpassed the previous peak average rate of 9,664 a day notched by New York during the depths of its crisis in April.

Even as Florida’s daily cases hit a record, the rate of tests coming back positive dropped to 15.5 per cent on Sunday, the lowest mark since June 25, based on a Financial Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data. The state health department reported a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent.

Florida’s positivity rate over the past seven days stood at 18.7 per cent and remained level compared with the previous week, based on the Covid Tracking Project’s figures.

The number of people currently hospitalised in Florida now exceeds that of California, which on Sunday saw its tally ease for the first time in 22 days to 7,854 from a record 7,904 on July 11, according to FT analysis of Covid Tracking Project data. Texas had the highest number of people currently hospitalised in any US state, with 10,410 people as of Sunday.

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