Florida nears 72,000 COVID-19 deaths since start of pandemic

While the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to dwindle, a report released Friday shows that nearly 72,000 Florida residents have died since the pandemic started in early 2020. 

The Florida Department of Health said a reported 71,860 residents had died of COVID-19 as of Thursday, up from 70,997 a week earlier. 

Because of lags in reporting, it is not clear when the additional deaths occurred. But the report also showed a continued drop in new COVID-19 cases after the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus caused a massive surge in December and January. 

The Department of Health said 10,288 new cases were reported from March 4 to Thursday. As a comparison, 427,514 cases were reported from Jan. 7 to Jan. 13.

Click here for the latest Central Florida news, Florida stories, and local headlines.