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(The Miami Herald) – Florida’s Department of Health on Wednesday morning confirmed 3,207 additional cases of COVID-19, setting the record for the highest daily total since the state began tracking.

There are now 85, 926 confirmed cases in Florida.

The state’s previous daily record high in was 2, 783 on Tuesday.

There were also 43 new deaths announced Thursday, raising the statewide death toll to 3,061.

▪ Miami-Dade County saw 581 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths. The county’s known total is now at 23,854. The death toll is at 859, the highest in the state.

▪ Broward County reported 299 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths. The county’s confirmed total is now at 10,111. The death toll is at 365.

▪ Palm Beach County saw 382 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and si6 new deaths. The county’s known total is now at 9,854. The death toll is at 450.

▪ Monroe County reported nine additional confirmed cases of the disease and no new deaths. The Florida Keys has had a total of 146 known cases and four deaths.

CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN FLORIDA

More than half of the known COVID-19 cases are in South Florida’s four counties — Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe. Miami-Dade continues to lead the state with the most confirmed cases and deaths.

One of the tools that officials are relying on to determine if the novel coronavirus situation is improving in the state is hospitalization data. Unlike testing, which might be limited or take days to report results, hospitalizations can help give officials a real-time visual of how many people are severely ill with COVID-19.

The health department says it does not “have a figure” to reflect the number of people currently hospitalized and only provides the total number of hospitalizations in its statewide and county-level data.

While Florida’s Department of Health is not releasing current statewide hospitalization data to the public, hospitals in Miami-Dade are self-reporting a number of key metrics, including hospitalizations, to the county, which has made this data public. Some provide updates every day; others don’t.

Ninety-five people were discharged and 87 people were admitted to Miami-Dade hospitals on Wednesday, bringing the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications to 640, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard data.

Scientists are also still working to learn more about the virus, including how many people in the community are infected and have mild or no symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what percentage of the cases hospitalizations represent.

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