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After three weeks of declining new weekly cases, the slope tipped upward.

Florida saw 4,471 new cases this week compared to last week’s 4,195 new cases, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

“Numbers are trending sharply upward,” said James Colliver, a retired federal health statistician who has been tracking Charlotte County cases. He speculated this could be due to either delayed submission of records or an increase in testing in nursing homes, incarceration facilities or other institutions.

“(This increase) is happening too soon after Governor DeSantis’ Phase 1 relaxation of stay-at-home social distancing to be attributed to that policy change,” he said Wednesday.

As of Friday morning, there were 247 positive COVID-19 cases in residents and staff in long-term care facilities in DeSoto, Charlotte and Sarasota counties.

Approximately 140 of those were in Charlotte County, or more than 40% of the county’s total case count, according to the Florida Department of Health data.

As of August 2018, Charlotte County had 1,775 beds in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Meanwhile, Sarasota County had 106 cases in long-term care facilities, and DeSoto County had one case.

See the numbers for yourself from the Florida Department of Health, as of Friday morning, below:

Florida

• Total positive cases: 39,199 (1,027 non-Florida residents)

• Deaths: 1,669

• Total hospitalized: 6,929

• Total tested: 514,017 (7.6% positive)

• Age range of cases: 0 to 107 (26% 65 years or older)

• Total cases in long-term care facilities (staff and residents): 5,030

• Total deaths in long-term care facilities (staff, residents, and those transferred out): 665 (39.8% of total deaths)

Charlotte County

• Total positive cases: 312 (1 non-Florida residents)

• Deaths: 31

• Total hospitalized: 63

• Total tested: 3,200 (9.8% positive)

• Age range of cases: 3 to 101 (Median age: 70)

• Total cases in long-term care facilities (staff, residents, and those transferred out): 140

• Total deaths in long-term care facilities (staff and residents): 16 (51.6% of total deaths)

Sarasota County

• Total positive cases: 416 (16 non-Florida residents)

• Deaths: 54

• Total hospitalized: 142

• Total tested: 6,107 (6.8% positive)

• Age range of cases: 0 to 102 (Median age: 63)

• Total cases in long-term care facilities (staff, residents, and those transferred out): 106

• Total deaths in long-term care facilities (staff and residents): 29 (53.7% of total deaths)

DeSoto County

• Total positive cases: 42 (0 non-Florida residents)

• Deaths: 5

• Total hospitalized: 12

• Total tested: 1,278 (3.3% positive)

• Age range of cases: 21 to 92 (Median age: 60)

• Total cases in long-term care facilities (staff, residents, and those transferred out): 1

• Total deaths in long-term care facilities (staff and residents): 0

Lee County

• Total positive cases: 1,219 (44 non-Florida residents)

• Deaths: 62

• Total hospitalized: 211

• Total tested: 13,654 (8.9% positive)

• Age range of cases: 0 to 101 (Median age: 55)

• Total cases in long-term care facilities (staff, residents, and those transferred out): 283

• Total deaths in long-term care facilities (staff and residents): 33 (53.2% of total deaths)

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