Florida

Florida Reports 71,742 New Covid Cases, Hospitalizations Continue to Climb

The 71,742 new cases moved the state's total to 4,878,524 since the pandemic began

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Florida continued to report large numbers of new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with more than 71,000 new infections.

The 71,742 new cases moved the state's total to 4,878,524 since the pandemic began, according to the new figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's the fourth day in the past two weeks that Florida has had more than 70,000 daily cases.

Florida's 7-day moving average for cases has reached record-setting levels the past two weeks, surpassing 65,700 on Wednesday, a new record. That average had been below 1,300 as recently as November.

The dramatic rise in cases has been attributed to the fast-spreading omicron variant of the virus, as well as a large increase in people seeking testing.

New case positivity in the state has risen to 31.2%, according to the weekly report released Friday by the Florida Department of Health. The positivity rate had dropped to 2.1% as recently as mid-November.

Hospitalizations in the state continued to rise Wednesday, with 11,378 inpatient beds in use for COVID-19, accounting for about 20.41% of the state's total based on 235 hospitals reporting, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That number was 11,078 on Tuesday.

Another 1,446 intensive care unit beds were in use for COVID-19 Wednesday, about 22.69% of the state's total based on 241 hospitals reporting, according to HHS. The ICU bed use increased by 64 from Tuesday.

Hospitalizations remain well below this past summer's delta surge, when they peaked at more than 17,100.

Florida's coronavirus-related death toll reached 62,819 on Wednesday.

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