Virus positivity rate nearly 10% as Florida faces third bout

Florida is facing a resurgent coronavirus, emphasized Saturday as testing positivity rates approach 10%.

Among 49,617 Floridians tested Friday, 9.95% tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the highest share in three months. In total, the Department of Health counted 4,452 cases that day.

But since Friday’s report, the department confirmed 4,544 diagnoses and 44 deaths tied to the virus. Overall, 875,096 people have tested positive in the Sunshine State, including 12,106 nonresidents. Additionally, 17,489 Floridians have died, as have 215 nonresidents, an increase of one.

For 16 days straight, the positivity rate has topped 5%, marking an increase in the rate of infections. Friday’s nearly 10% rate was was a slight increase from 8% the day prior.

Some experts say a community should maintain rates below 5% for 14 days before reopening services like schools.

For weeks, the Governor’s Office has acknowledged an uptick in the number of new positives, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has emphasized that Florida will keep its reopening course. Before the uptick in positivity rates, the Governor’s communications director, Fred Piccolo, told Florida Politics that newly available rapid tests could be inspiring interest in testing. But he also acknowledged Phase Three and the full reopening of restaurants

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