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State record set for COVID-19 deaths, rate slows in Lee County

New case rate continues to slow locally

July 31, 2020
Nathan Mayberg ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

For the fourth straight day, the Florida Department of Health announced a record-high for the number of coronavirus-related deaths statewide. The new figure of 257 deaths, follows the state's report of 253 a day earlier and 216 on Wednesday. This does not mean all of the deaths occurred or were reported by local health care facilities on those days but that they were released in the state report that day after reports were processed.

Since Monday, the total number of coronavirus-related deaths statewide has increased by 15% from 6,049 to 6,966. In Lee County, the tally of recorded deaths has gone from 259 to 279 since Monday. The most recently released Lee County deaths range from a 60-year-old male who died June 28 to a 70-year-old female who died July 27.

In Lee County, there have been 15,416 confirmed COVID-19 cases, an increase of six percent since Monday. Statewide, the total caseload rose from 432,747 to 470,386, an increase of 8.7%. Both figures lagged behind the rate increase in death counts, which have lagged behind in their recording.

On Fort Myers Beach, there have been 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

After a spike in cases between June and July at Lee Health, the number of coronavirus patients reported there on Friday was approximately one-third of numbers being reported two weeks earlier. Lee Health CEO Larry Antonucci said there were 203 COVID-19 patients isolated at the hospital on Friday.

"This has been an incredibly promising week as Southwest Florida continues to fight against the coronavirus. We saw the number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals decrease every single day, and hospitalizations are at the lowest point since June," Antonucci said.

On Thursday, there were 26 new COVID-19 admissions and 34 discharges.

Antonucci said the hospital is still performing elective surgeries though some surgeries requiring overnight stays have been restricted.



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