Florida tops 60,000 new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations jump 24%

Florida saw a jump in COVID-19 cases last week, while reported deaths of Florida residents during the pandemic climbed to more than 74,300. 

A report issued Friday by the state Department of Health said the state had a reported 60,204 new COVID-19 cases during the week of May 13 to Thursday. That was up from 39,374 new cases the previous week and continued a steady increase during the past two months. For example, the state reported 8,040 cases during the week that started March 11. 

The increases have come as variants of the coronavirus have developed and spread. Meanwhile, the Department of Health report said 74,330 Florida residents had died of COVID-19 as of a Thursday count. That was up from 74,060 deaths in a report issued two weeks ago. Because of lags in reporting, it is not clear when the additional deaths occurred.

The number of Florida hospital inpatients with COVID-19 jumped 24 percent during the past week after a nearly 20 percent increase the previous week, according to data posted Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The data showed that 1,941 inpatients had COVID-19, up from 1,560 a week earlier and 1,303 two weeks earlier. 

Also, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive-care units has increased. The new data showed 168 COVID-19 patients needing intensive care, up from 131 a week earlier and 103 two weeks earlier. 

While Florida has seen increases in overall numbers of COVID-19 cases, the numbers remain far lower than early in the year, when the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus swept across the state.