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Florida Reports Highest Coronavirus Positivity Rate At Over 22%

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Florida Department of Health

The percent positivity rate of new coronavirus cases reached 22.75% Monday — the highest level yet. The state claims the figure is an outlier caused by testing sites being closed for the holidays.

The Florida Department of Health reported that of the 62,303 people tested for the coronavirus Monday, 22.75% came back positive for the first time.

That's the highest positivity rate the state has reported yet.

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Florida Department of Health

State health officials released a statement about the positivity rate of new cases, saying:

“The reported positivity rate is 22.75 percent, which should be interpreted with caution due to reduced hours and closures at doctor’s offices, public testing sites, and laboratories for the holidays. These reduced hours and closures have resulted in less people tested and delays in result processing and reporting which have impacted Florida’s daily testing number by nearly half. As we continue to experience office closures and holidays through January 4, 2021, it is possible that data may continue to be impacted over the coming days.”
Florida Department of Health

In the two weeks before Tuesday's report, the state was averaging about 127,000 tests a day.

Here's the greater Tampa Bay region county-by-county breakdown for percent positivity rates for new cases reported Monday:

  • Hillsborough - 32.56%
  • Pinellas - 13.85%
  • Manatee - 13.23%
  • Polk - 36.63%
  • Sarasota - 8.28%
  • Pasco - 23.36%
  • Hernando - 33.16%

The state also reported 12,075 new daily positive tests, bringing the statewide total to 1,292,252 cases. The health department’s statement noted this number was also “within the normal range of cases reported per day over the past two weeks.”

That total included 2,072 positive tests in the greater Tampa Bay region, including 759 in Hillsborough County.

There were 105 deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported across the state since Monday's report, including 39 in the greater Tampa Bay area — 13 in Polk County.

While the deaths were recorded Tuesday, they may have occurred in the days and weeks prior.

As of Tuesday at 7 a.m., the state reports 146,160 individuals have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Florida.

State Totals (as of Tuesday, Dec. 29):

  • Positive Tests - 1,292,252
  • Deaths – 21,718

Daily Changes:

State: Positive Tests – 12,075 | Deaths - 105

Greater Tampa Bay Region:

  • Positive Tests – 2,072 | Deaths - 39

Daily Testing (statewide):

  • Tests Received – 62,303 | Positivity Rate – 22.75%

ABOUT THE DATA: The Florida Department of Health produces a daily update around 11 a.m. with information about COVID-19 cases and deaths that were reported over the previous 24 hours. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state separately tracks cases and deaths that occurred on specific days on its dashboard and those totals are frequently updated.

Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for the last two weeks:

  • Dec. 29: 12,075/105
  • Dec. 28: 8,198/99
  • Dec. 27: 7,391/77
  • Dec. 26: 17,042/142
  • Dec. 25: No data reported
  • Dec. 24: 13,147/122
  • Dec. 23: 11,384/121
  • Dec. 22: 10,434/76
  • Dec. 21: 11,015/115
  • Dec. 20: 8,401/97
  • Dec. 19: 11,682/74
  • Dec. 18: 13,000/96
  • Dec. 17: 13,148/104
  • Dec. 16: 11,541/125
NOTE: The Florida Department of Health discontinued daily coronvirus updates on June 4, 2021.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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