Your Wednesday Coronavirus Update: State Delays Case Update; More Than 100 New Fatalities Reported
Department of Health delays release of case numbers
Matthew Peddie, WMFE
The Florida Department of Health’s daily coronavirus report was delayed by more than six hours today.
The report is normally released around 11 a.m. The health department released the data just before 5:30, showing 2,159 new cases. The latest report brings the COVID-19 death toll among Florida residents to 16,210, adding 105 new deaths to yesterday’s total.
The Department of Health did not give an explanation for the delay, but in a press release, Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said the health department will conduct a more thorough review of all COVID-19 fatalities reported to the state.
The press release said there were 95 deaths reported to the state Tuesday.
Rivkees said 16 of the deaths reported yesterday had happened two months after the deceased individuals had tested positive for coronavirus, and 11 of the deaths happened more than a month ago.
During a pandemic, the public must be able to rely on accurate public health data to make informed decisions. To ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 related deaths, the Department will be performing additional reviews of all deaths. Timely and accurate data remains a top priority of the Department of Health.
Governor Ron DeSantis has reportedly discussed scaling back the frequency of the state’s case reports, but spokesman Fred Piccolo tweeted that there was no immediate plan to change the frequency of reports.
There will be no elimination of COVID-19 data available to the public. There is no plan to change reporting frequency or depth anytime in the near future. That is all.
— Fred Piccolo Jr (@FredPiccoloJr) October 21, 2020
Tuesday’s fatality report brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths among Florida residents to 16,200. Some 203 non residents have died from COVID-19.
More than 760,000 coronavirus cases have been reported statewide since the spring.
Here’s a roundup of stories you may have missed:
Orlando International Airport Sees Busiest Week Since Start Of The Pandemic
Talia Blake, WMFE
Orlando International Airport had its biggest weekly passenger count since mid-March when the pandemic began. Read more here.
DeSantis Says School Closures Should Be ‘Off The Table,’ But The Decision Is Up To Districts
Ryan Dailey, WFSU
Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to put a stop to school closures for COVID-19 purposes. Speaking at a Jacksonville charter school alongside the state’s education commissioner, DeSantis made the case for quarantining symptomatic students and staff, but avoiding closing entire campuses. Read more here.
Remembering Those Lost to COVID-19: Arquímedes Pérez
Tim Padgett, WLRN
One of the saddest realities of the novel coronavirus pandemic is that families usually can’t be there when loved ones are hospitalized for – and die from – COVID-19. The family of WLRN’s Tim Padgett recently experienced that heartbreak here – and in Venezuela. Listen to the story here.
Number of COVID-19 cases ticking up in Miami-Dade schools
The Associated Press
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 90 among students and teachers in Miami-Dade County’s public schools since classrooms reopened for face-to-face learning. Read more here.
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