Today’s updates from the Florida Department of Health brought mixed news for Polk County. A new COVID-19 death was reported here for the seventh day in a row. At the same time, the percent of positive tests continues declining as near-record levels of testing have been reported the last two days.

The Health Department reports a cumulative percentage of positive tests among all people tested, and today’s number for Polk was 5.4%. The figure was 6.3% as recently as May 7.

The department reported 507 new tests today and 560 on Sunday, the second and fourth largest daily amounts so far. Positive tests reported were 10 today, just below average, and 14 on Sunday, a little above average.

The new COVID-19 death reported today was a 70-year-old woman who had first been confirmed with the disease last Wednesday. It was unknown whether she had been in contact with other confirmed cases.

Unlike the majority of COVID-19 deaths in Polk, she was not affiliated with a long-term-care facility.

Sunday’s death was a 92-year-old man who had been at a long-term-care facility. His case was confirmed on May 5.

Twenty-eight of Polk County’s 43 COVID-19 deaths involve long-term-care facilities, and at least 20 of those are tied to Highlands Lake Center in south Lakeland.

Latest numbers

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

  • Polk confirmed cases: 746, an increase of 10
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 296, an increase of 1
  • Polk deaths: 43, an increase of 1
  • Polk hospitalizations: 235, unchanged

Hospitalizations hit a plateau toward the end of April with just five new cases between April 22 and 28, but the rate of new patients has quickened since then, with 92 new admissions since the end of April.

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 tested: 13,702, an increase of 507 over the previous day.
  • Positive: 746
  • Negative: 12,950
  • Inconclusive: 4
  • Await results: 5
  • Percent positive: 5.4%

The numbers of people being tested remains small compared with Polk County’s estimated population of 724,777 people. A shortage of test kits means that until recently only people showing severe symptoms and/or high risk were tested.

Long-term care facilities

  • Cases involving Polk facilities: No new number; no new report had been listed as of 6:50 p.m.
  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 28, unchanged
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: No new information

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: 27, unchanged
33803: 26, unchanged
33805: 51, unchanged
33809: 25, an increase of 4 in the last 2 days
33810: 31, unchanged
33811: 1-4
33812: 11, unchanged
33813: 99, an increase of 4 in the last 2 days
33815: 13, unchanged

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, 296
  • Winter Haven, 131
  • Davenport, 72
  • Lake Wales, 45
  • Kissimmee, 41*
  • Bartow, 39
  • Auburndale, 22
  • Haines City, 16
  • Mulberry, 13
  • Frostproof, 11
  • Fort Meade, 10
  • Lake Alfred, 5
  • Poinciana, 5
  • Eagle Lake, 4
  • Polk City, 4
  • Dundee, 3
  • Wahneta, 2
  • Kathleen, 2
  • Babson Park, 2
  • Bradley, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Lake Hamilton, 1
  • Waverly, 1
  • Clermont, 1*
  • No city named, 6

* 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.

Download the full Florida report released Monday.

Tracking the cases

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips:

Barry Friedman founded 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.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Hopefully Florida Department of Health isn’t participating in the same political shenanigans with health data that Georgie appears to be part of. Thanks for keeping this update Barry.

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.)