Florida Adds 5,500 New Coronavirus Cases Sunday Following Data Mix-Up

State's positivity rates show slight decrease

NBC Universal, Inc.

Florida reported an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 a day after not releasing virus data citing a problem with a private laboratory.

The Florida Department of Health tallied Sunday 3,700 new known cases, the highest daily caseload since late August. On Saturday, there were 1,790 new confirmed cases.

The total of 5,570 new COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 734,491, according to the report released Sunday.

The state's official death toll was at 15,552 Sunday: that figure includes 15,364 Florida resident deaths, an increase of 178 since Friday, as well as 188 non-resident deaths, two more since Friday.

The 180 total new COVID-19 deaths reflects two days of data reporting. Fatalities reported by the state may have happened happened days or weeks earlier, as it takes time to confirm causes of death.

The positivity rate for all cases reported Sunday was 4.44%, and the rate for cases that would have been reported Saturday reached 9.24%.

The positivity rate of new cases was 3.47% for Sunday and 7.88% for Saturday.

Health officials said they received 400,000 previously reported test results late Friday from Helix Laboratory, which prevented them from processing and releasing data on Saturday as they usually do. Epidemiologists needed to verify results to make sure it didn't duplicate cases, the department said.

It's not the first time the state cites problems with private laboratories. In early September, the government severed ties with Quest Diagnostics after the company failed to submit timely results of tens of thousands of COVID-19 test results, some dating as far back as April.

Gov. Ron DeSantis then questioned the reliability of testing data for making policy decisions.

In South Florida, Miami-Dade had 175,118 cases, an increase of about 1,400 since Friday, along with 3,439 COVID-related deaths, an increase of 52 since Friday.

Broward County had 79,332 COVID-19 cases reported, an increase of about 500 since Friday, along with 1,467 virus-related deaths, 12 more than Friday.

Palm Beach County had 47,955 cases and 1,446 virus-related deaths Sunday, while Monroe County had 1,958 cases and 24 deaths.

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