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Florida adds more than 8,000 coronavirus cases for third day in a row

Florida added 8,049 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday. It is the third consecutive day that the state has eclipsed 8,000 cases in a single day.

The numbers are the latest sign that the COVID-19 pandemic is surging in the Sunshine State. Since Oct. 31, Florida’s daily total of infections has dropped below 4,000 only once — on Nov. 8.

Saturday’s cases brought Florida’s total to 931,827 across the state. There were 41 resident deaths reported on Saturday, which brought the statewide total to 17,930 Floridians. A non resident also died, bringing the total non-resident deaths to 222. The state’s combined death toll is now 18,152.

Florida has the third-most coronavirus cases as the virus caseload rises across the country, trailing only Texas and California.

Hospitalizations: There were 3,425 people hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus across Florida, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 765 are being treated in Tampa Bay area hospitals.

Hospitalizations across the state have gone up in recent weeks as have the number of infections.

About 23 percent of hospital beds and 20 percent of ICU beds are available statewide. In Tampa Bay, 22 percent of hospital beds and 18 percent of ICU beds are available. Some of the largest area hospitals, like Tampa General Hospital and Morton Plant Hospital, have few or no ICU beds available as of Saturday morning.

Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 9 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. It is one of 45 states that doesn’t meet the World Health Organization recommendation of 5 percent or below.

When the positivity rate is too high, it can indicate there isn’t enough widespread testing to capture mild and asymptomatic cases. When those cases aren’t caught, they continue to spread throughout the community.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 1,315 coronavirus cases and four deaths Saturday.

As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 55,257 cases and 889 deaths; Pinellas has 30,611 cases and 871 deaths; Polk has 26,253 cases and 662 deaths; Manatee has 15,614 cases and 368 deaths; Pasco has 13,532 cases and 266 deaths; Hernando has 4,560 cases and 198 deaths; and Citrus has 4,266 cases and 158 deaths.

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