Florida tops 74,000 COVID-19 deaths

Florida has exceeded 74,000 resident deaths from COVID-19, while newly reported cases steadily climb, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Health. 

The data showed that 74,060 residents had died as of a Thursday count. That was up from 73,830 reported two weeks earlier. Because of lags in reporting, it is not clear when the additional deaths occurred. 

The new data also showed that 32,981 new COVID-19 cases were reported from April 29 to Thursday, continuing a gradual increase. That was up from 26,534 cases the previous week. Reported new cases were as low as 8,040 during the week of March 11 to March 17.

The number of Florida hospital inpatients with COVID-19 has increased during the past month. Data posted Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that 1,303 Florida inpatients had COVID-19, up from 1,063 on April 7. 

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive-care units, however, remained relatively flat. Friday’s data showed 103 patients needing intensive care, up from 93 on April 7. The hospitalization numbers remain far lower than totals early in the year when the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus raced across the state. As an example, 8,406 Florida inpatients had COVID-19 in a Jan. 6 count.