We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding the coronavirus in South Florida and around the state. Check back for updates throughout the day.
Hospitalizations keep rising in Miami-Dade
2:42 p.m.: The number of admitted COVID-19 patients in Miami-Dade County hospitals was up to 2,224 on Sunday, an increase of 72 since Saturday and the highest total the county has seen to date.
In the county’s daily report Sunday, officials said hospitals had 507 patients admitted in intensive care units, or 127% of the typical capacity of 398 ICU beds. The report says hospitals have 457 additional beds that “may be converted to ICU beds.”
Jackson Health System, which runs Miami-Dade’s public hospitals, has called off all elective surgeries to preserve space in intensive care units.
Miami-Dade reported receiving 146 fire rescue calls Saturday that were suspected to be coronavirus related, down from 187 on Friday and resulting in the first decrease in the county’s five-day average in the past week.
Hard Rock testing site closes gates early due to lines
2:38 p.m.: The drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens shut its gates for the day before 3 p.m. Sunday to ensure everyone that inside could be tested by 5 p.m., state officials said. The site’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
Around noon Sunday, officials reported that the wait time for asymptomatic people over 18 years old was about two hours long. A separate line for self-swab tests for people with symptoms ages five and up was around 45 minutes.
On Saturday, testing at the Hard Rock site was canceled due to heavy rain.
Tests for pro athletes contribute to slow turnaround times
12:17 p.m.: As the volume of COVID-19 testing in Florida has increased from under 20,000 per day less than a month ago to over 88,000 per day in the past two weeks, the typical wait time for results has also increased substantially to more than a week as labs struggle to keep up.
According to the Los Angeles Times, one contributing factor is the fact that thousands of tests are being conducted in Orlando for professional basketball and soccer players preparing to start their seasons. Those tests are being processed immediately by BioReference Laboratories, possibly taking priority over tests for the general public.
The problem could soon get worse, according to the LA Times, as other pro sports leagues like the NFL ramp up again. “Professional sports could soon be responsible for roughly one of every 110 tests performed in the U.S. each week,” the LA Times reports.
Florida announces over 12,000 new cases, 87 deaths
11:13 a.m.: The Florida Department of Health announced 12,478 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its latest report Sunday morning and 87 deaths among Florida residents. The state and national record for new cases was 15,300 on July 12.
State health officials reported over 115,000 test results Sunday with a 14.3% positive rate.
A total of 5,091 people are now confirmed to have died from the novel coronavirus in Florida, including 109 residents of other states.
In Miami-Dade County, there were 3,233 new cases confirmed Sunday with a 20.5% rate of positive tests, according to state data.
Read the full story here.
CATCH UP TO START THE DAY
10:09 a.m.: Here are the coronavirus headlines to catch you up on what’s happening around South Florida and the state as Sunday begins.
▪ Broward County announced an 11 p.m. curfew Saturday plus other restrictions.
▪ Miami-Dade County has a new help line for residents who need temporary hotel rooms to isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
▪ An analysis of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ messaging since the start of the pandemic reveals how the governor has delivered a shifting narrative that is focused on defending his own actions.