Florida COVID-19 deaths top 73,00

More than 73,000 Florida residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started in early 2020, according to a report issued Friday by the state Department of Health. 

The report said 73,027 residents had died as of a Thursday count. That was up from 71,860 in a report issued March 11. 

Because of lags in reporting, it is not clear when the additional deaths occurred. The report also showed that newly reported cases of COVID-19 remain low after a massive surge in cases in December and January amid the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. 

During the week of March 18 to Thursday, the state had 8,774 reported cases. The total the previous week was 8,049. By comparison, Florida had 286,791 cases during the week of Jan. 14 to Jan. 20. The Department of Health has started issuing the reports every other week, after issuing them weekly during the past several months.