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Coronavirus update: Increase in Florida's death toll rises sharply week after week

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Many coronaviruses, cause of Covid-19, 3d illustration.

The COVID-19 pandemic -- driven by the Delta variant -- has not let up in Florida.

It's averaging more than 20,000 new cases a day, and the state has surpassed 3 million cases.

More than 17,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in the state and more than 3,500 are in ICU beds, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The death toll increased by nearly 1,486 to 42,252 in Friday's weekly report from the state.

That's a steep increase in deaths -- 46 percent more than were added the previous week and 141 percent more than the week before that.

Earlier this month the deaths each day from COVID-19 were double or triple the numbers from early and mid-July, according to the CDC. A lag in reporting makes it impossible to say if that trend has continued.

One in five Floridians getting tested has the virus. And positivity is even higher in most Central Florida counties. In Marion County, it's at 30 percent.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.