Florida health officials are bracing for an uptick in new COVID-19 cases following a busy Thanksgiving weekend that included heavy travel and holiday shopping. While Black Friday retail sales were significantly slower, the weekend still saw a significant uptick in the number of shoppers visiting stores and malls during the coronavirus outbreak.
Sunday, the Florida Department of Health reported 7,364 new COVID-19 cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Florida has diagnosed 992,661 positive coronavirus cases. The state will likely break the 1 million new cases barrier tomorrow or Wednesday. More than 44 percent of Sunday’s new cases were found in South Florida, with Miami Dade County accounting for over 2,000 positive tests, and Broward County logging 821.
The number of tests being administered remains extremely high, with the state getting 91,676 test results back on Sunday. But the positivity rate has remained steady, coming in at 7.83 percent. It has remained just over 7 percent for most of the week.
In addition to the steady stream of new cases, officials also reported 58 deaths between Saturday and Sunday, but that number remains relatively low despite the increase in cases over the past several weeks.
The number of hospitalizations has increased steadily over the past month, with 4,079 people currently hospitalized across the state with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. Despite the increases, the state’s bed capacity is in no danger of being overwhelmed, with more than 17,000 additional beds still unoccupied. That’s about 28 percent of all available capacity. ICU beds are also in ample supply across the state, with about 25 percent of capacity still available.
At the peak of the outbreak in July, Florida still had about 10,000 regular beds still available and was never in danger of exceeding statewide capacity, though some Florida counties hit particularly hard by the virus did have to make alternative arrangements for patients in intensive care.