Officials again count nearly 20K COVID-19 diagnoses; death toll jump 194

State health officials on Friday reported 19,530 new COVID-19 diagnoses, flirting with a 20,000-case jump for a second day in a row.

Officials Thursday reported 19,816 new cases, the most new cases identified in a single day’s report.

The Department of Health shows a total of 1,449,252 positive cases in its latest report, including 25,742 nonresidents. The state’s death toll rose to 23,011 people, including 345 nonresidents, an overall increase of 194 since Thursday’s report.

Through early Friday morning, 443,616 people have been vaccinated, including 24,200 people who have received their booster shot.

Of the 19,211 new cases confirmed Thursday, the latest day with complete data available, the median age was 40. From the 193,644 residents tested, the positivity rate declined slightly to 11.5%.

However, COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by state health officials can sometimes be reported days or weeks later.

With the nation just past the Holidays, Gov. Ron DeSantis warned that numbers of new infections could jump in Florida and nationwide. However, he contends the state has taken the right steps to mitigate outbreaks.

“But I think it’s important to point out, Florida’s approach I think is the better approach,” he said Monday.

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