As the number of new COVID-19 cases throughout Florida continues to plateau, some positive news is emerging from hospitals in Charlotte and Sarasota counties.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reported 7,144 patients were hospitalized Friday evening with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. Just 10 days earlier, nearly 9,000 people were hospitalized statewide, according to the agency.

That July 28 data documented 61 hospitalizations in Charlotte and 145 in Sarasota counties. On Friday, those numbers dropped to 41 in Charlotte and 88 in Sarasota County. DeSoto remained the same at two, and Lee increased slightly from 198 to 206.

Area hospitals also reported having more ICU beds available Friday.

Charlotte County’s three hospitals reported 12 ICU beds available — an increase of eight beds since July 31. Bayfront Punta Gorda and Fawcett Memorial each reported three available beds while Bayfront Port Charlotte had six available. One week earlier, only Bayfront Punta Gorda had any availability.

Sarasota County hospitals reported 36 available ICU beds on Friday out of a total of 108. Venice Regional Bayfront had 18 of its 32 available. DeSoto Memorial reported four of eight available. Across the three-county region, 31.5% of ICU beds were available.

There were 7,719 new cases reported on Thursday, slightly lower than the two-week average of 8,256 and 36.3% lower that the two-week period’s daily high of 12,105 on July 24.

Florida

Total cases: 512,421 (+47,391 from July 31)

Deaths: 7,927 (+1,084 from July 31)

Total hospitalized: 29,730 (+3,197 from July 31)

Charlotte County

Total cases: 2,167 (+227 from July 31)

Deaths: 90 (+4 from July 31)

Total hospitalized: 231 (+13 from July 31)

Sarasota County

Total cases: 6,043 (+507 from July 31)

Deaths: 130 (+10 from July 31)

Total hospitalized: 364 (+20 from July 31)

DeSoto County

Total cases: 1,324 (-60 from July 31)

Deaths: 16 (+2 from July 31)

Total hospitalized: 95 (-4 from July 31)

Lee County

Total cases: 15,962 (+825 from July 31)

Deaths: 329 (+34 from July 31)

Total hospitalized: 206 (-763 from July 31)

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