Florida Adds 17,500 New COVID-19 Cases, as Hospitalizations Continue to Drop

The past week has seen about a 10% drop in hospitalizations in the state

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Florida added just over 17,500 new COVID-19 cases Friday, as hospitalizations in the state continued to decline.

The 17,506 new cases brought the state's seven-day average to 18,436, according to figures reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida's seven-day average had peaked at 21,758 in mid-August.

Figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Health showed there were 129,240 new cases reported in the past seven days, the lowest weekly total since July.

Florida's positivity rate has dropped to 15.2%, after it peaked at 20.3% last month.

Florida's COVID-19-related death toll remained at 45,909 Friday, the same as Thursday's total. The state's death toll was dramatically increased Thursday when 1,338 new deaths were added, though all had occurred in previous days or weeks and there appeared to have been a lag in reporting the deaths.

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations were at 14,279, down from Thursday's figure of 14,682, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Hospitalizations had reached just under 17,000 a couple weeks ago but have been steadily declining. The past week has seen about a 10% drop in hospitalizations in the state.

Jackson North Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. O'Neil Pyke said the delta variant has been driving the hospitalizations.

"This delta variant has proven to be much more menacing to the body and a lot of people have not really recovered from that in spite of the same or better treatment modalities that we’ve employed," Pyke said.

Around 69% of those eligible in Florida, more than 13.1 million people, have received the vaccine, according to the state department of health.

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