Florida Covid Death Report Hits Record; Younger Adults Die
Florida reported 1,727 Covid-19 deaths in its latest weekly report, the most since the state has been issuing the reports.
The daily average rose 16% to 247 in the seven-day period, according to the report Friday. That would also surpass the previous high for the entire pandemic in John Hopkins University data. The data is based on when the death was reported, not when it occurred.
People between 40 and 59 years old accounted for about 23% of the deaths, compared with 11% cumulatively during the entire pandemic.
New cases among residents rose about 1% to 151,749 in the week ended Aug. 26. Overall, the cases have been relatively flat for the past two weeks.
Florida and the Deep South have been the hardest-hit parts of the U.S. in the latest Covid-19 wave, which was driven by the highly-infectious delta variant. Although the flattening of cases tends to foreshadow an eventual drop, the numbers of confirmed infections remain among the highest in the nation, and hospitals have been overwhelmed.
“Fingers crossed, we may be seeing the beginning of a downward trend in Covid-19 hospitalizations, but new cases remain near all-time highs, so it is much too early to declare victory,” said Florida Hospital Association Chief Executive Officer Mary Mayhew in a statement earlier Friday.
Earlier this month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis downplayed the surge as “media fearmongering.” DeSantis has not just refrained from endorsing masks as a mitigation measure, but actively fought to ban mandated facial coverings in Florida schools. But on Friday, Judge John Cooper said the state couldn’t prevent school districts from issuing such mandates for their students.
The pandemic is affecting proportionally more young people, who tend to have lower vaccination rates. About 62% of the deaths reported this week occurred among people 65-and-over. Cumulatively over the course of the pandemic, Florida seniors have made up 79% of deaths.
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