Death toll for Florida residents tops 18,000

Florida Coronavirus News

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) — Florida reached another bleak milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic Monday, when it exceeded 18,000 resident deaths from the disease.

The state reported 94 additional resident deaths Monday, bringing the total to 18,085 since the pandemic slammed into Florida and the rest of the country early this year, according to numbers posted online by the state Department of Health. Another 225 non-Florida residents have died from COVID-19 in the state.

Florida, the third most-populous state, has the fourth-highest death toll in the country, trailing New York, Texas and California, according to national statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 257,000 people have died in the United States.

The state passed 18,000 deaths as it continues to see thousands of people test positive for COVID-19  each day — and as it nears 1 million cases since the start of the pandemic. On Monday, the Department of Health reported 6,331 new cases, increasing the total to 944,745.

Florida has also seen large increases in recent weeks of people hospitalized because of “primary” diagnoses of COVID-19. As of mid-afternoon Monday, 3,758 people were hospitalized with primary diagnoses of the disease, state Agency for Health Care Administration numbers showed. That was an increase of 145 from Sunday and 515 from Nov. 16.

On Oct. 23, the number of people hospitalized with primary diagnoses of COVID-19 totaled 2,116, according to daily totals compiled by The News Service of Florida.

Florida added 1,745 resident deaths during the past month and 526 since Nov. 16.

The disease has posed the greatest danger to seniors, who have died and been hospitalized at far higher rates than younger people. 

As of Monday, 14,913 of the resident deaths — or 82.5 percent — involved people 65 or older. People in that age group, however, made up only 14.8 percent of the overall cases.

By comparison, 140 people under age 35 had died, or less than 1 percent of the overall deaths. Meanwhile, people in that age group made up 40.9 percent of the overall cases.

As another illustration of the toll on seniors, the state has reported 7,166 deaths involving residents and staff members of long-term care facilities, with the vast majority of those deaths involving residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. That makes up almost 40 percent of the total deaths.

Geographically, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have had the largest numbers of deaths, combining to total 7,070, according to the Department of Health. But other areas, such as the Tampa Bay area, have also been hit hard. Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have combined to total 1,769 deaths.

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