A day after Polk County set new highs for daily new coronavirus cases and tests, today’s updates from the Florida Department of Health show Polk recording its second-highest numbers: 313 new cases and 1,751 tests. Lakeland today tied Saturday’s record of 98 new cases.

One more person in Polk County died from COVID-19, according to today’s report: a 100-year-old man who had lived in a long-term-care facility. His case was first confirmed last Monday.

Cumulative hospitalizations in Polk grew by three to 462, according to today’s update.

Statewide, 8,577 new COVID-19 cases were reported today, the third highest day so far. The previous high readings occurred Saturday and Friday of this week.

A Tampa Bay Times analysis of Florida coronavirus trends published Saturday determined:

  • Even as cases are spiking statewide, the rate of deaths has stayed relatively stable, rising from 35 per day earlier this month to 38 per day this week.
  • New cases are increasing far faster than new tests. The rate of positive tests was 5 percent last month and over 10 percent for the first half of June.
  • Social distancing has declined for weeks, based on cell phone location data.
  • Fewer people are getting seriously sick. One in 10 cases required hospitalization at the start of the month, and the rate is now one in 20 cases. That’s attributed to a higher proportion of infections affecting younger people.

With cases rising in what health officials say is evidence of community transmission of the disease, the median age of people testing positive in Polk has reduced from 52 to 40 in recent weeks. Polk’s median age of cases dropped below the statewide level for the first time this week.

A state Department of Health chart shows that the 25-34 age group now has the most cases in Polk. Until recently, the 35-44 demographic was slightly higher.

The overall proportion of positive tests in Polk County reached 7.8% today. It was at 4.5% two weeks ago.

Latest numbers

This morning’s COVID-19 updates from the Florida Department of Health compared with the previous day:

  • Polk confirmed cases: 3,495, an increase of 313
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 1,148, an increase of 98
  • Polk deaths: 93, an increase of 1
  • Polk hospitalizations: 462, an increase of 3

The numbers of confirmed cases and hospitalizations are cumulative and do not reflect how many people have recovered or have been released from the hospital.

Testing in Polk

  • Total tests: 44,604, an increase of 1,751
  • Positive: 3,495
  • Negative: 41,091
  • Inconclusive: 1
  • Await results: 16
  • Overall percent positive: 7.8%, an increase of 0.4%

Long-term care facilities

  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 64, an increase of 1
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 17 as of Friday. New reports were not released today or Saturday. Here’s a link to the most recent report.

Lakeland facilities with high numbers as of Friday:

  • Highlands Lake Center reports 110 cases: 81 residents who were transferred away and 29 staff.
  • Lakeland Hills Center reports 83 cases: 39 residents, 35 who transferred away and 9 staff members.
  • Grace Manor at Lake Morton reports 17 cases, all residents who were transferred away.
  • Consulate Health Care of Lakeland reports 25 cases: 10 residents, 12 who transferred away and 3 staff.

The state’s weekly report counting deaths affiliated with specific long-term-care facilities included 5 new cases in Polk. Here are the Polk County elder-care facilities where deaths of residents have been reported:

  • Highlands Lake Center on Lakeland Hills Boulevard: 25, unchanged
  • Brandywyne Health Care Center in Winter Haven: 8, an increase of 1
  • Consulate Health Care of Lakeland on North Socrum Loop Road: 7, unchanged
  • Lakeland Hills Center on East Bella Vista Street: 7, an increase of 1
  • Grace Manor at Lake Morton on Lime Street: 6, an increase of 1
  • Palm Garden of Winter Haven: 5, unchanged
  • Winter Haven Health and Rehabilitation Center, 2 (new this week)

A large majority of COVID-19 deaths in Polk County have involved people who have lived in long-term-care facilities:

More Polk County data

The Florida Department of Health is now releasing county-by-county charts. Here are today’s for Polk:

Click the image to view a larger version
Click the image to view a larger version

ZIP Codes

Cases in Lakeland ZIP codes:

33801: 152, an increase of 34 since Friday
33803: 113, an increase of 24
33805: 217, an increase of 25
33809: 98, an increase of 13
33810: 165, an increase of 23
33811: 88, an increase of 22
33812: 47, an increase of 9
33813: 193, an increase of 22
33815: 71, an increase of 23

View an interactive ZIP code map here. To find local ZIP code data, click on the “Cases by Zip Code” tab below the map and then scroll to Polk and click. Learn how ZIP code data is reported.

Cases in Polk cities

  • Lakeland, 1,148
  • Winter Haven, 759
  • Davenport, 269
  • Bartow, 225
  • Haines City, 153
  • Lake Wales, 145
  • Auburndale, 138
  • Kissimmee, 132*
  • Mulberry, 118
  • Fort Meade, 95
  • Frostproof, 58
  • Lake Alfred, 35
  • Polk City, 27
  • Eagle Lake, 26
  • Poinciana, 12
  • Dundee, 11
  • Babson Park, 9
  • Waverly, 7
  • Kathleen, 4
  • Wahneta, 3
  • Lake Hamilton, 3
  • Homeland, 3
  • Eaton Park, 1
  • Eloise, 1 (new to the list)
  • Loughman, 1 (new to the list)
  • Highland City, 1
  • Gibsonia, 1
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Bradley, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Lakeshore (formerly Fedhaven), 1
  • Clermont, 1*
  • Alturas, 1
  • No city named, 86

* While Kissimmee is in Osceola County, the Health Department classifies a portion of east Polk as Kissimmee. It maintains a separate number for the Osceola portion of Kissimmee. A similar situation exists for Clermont, which is in Lake County.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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