Well, this is getting frustratingly familiar. For the third straight day, a new COVID-19 death has been reported involving a long-term-care facility in Polk County. This morning’s report from the Florida Department of Health shows there are 11 more confirmed cases here and two more hospitalizations.

The new death involves an 92-year-old woman whose case was first confirmed last Saturday.

The Department of Health reports don’t indicated which elder-care facility was involved. But a report expected Friday will give an update on how many deaths are associated with specific facilities.

Latest numbers

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

  • Polk confirmed cases: 698, an increase of 11
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 277, an increase of 5
  • Polk deaths: 37, an increase of 1
  • Polk hospitalizations: 224, an increase of 2

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 85 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: 12,132, an increase of 403 over the previous day. It was the sixth highest daily number of tests so far.
  • Positive: 698
  • Negative: 11,430
  • Inconclusive: 3
  • Await results: 4
  • Percent positive: 5.8%

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. (Free testing offered by the Health Department Saturday morning at New Bethel AME Church is the first testing in Lakeland that we’re aware of where a doctor’s order will not be required.)

Long-term care facilities

  • Cases involving Polk facilities: 151, an increase of 5
  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 25, an increase of 1
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 11 | List (This link lasts only until the next day’s list is published.)

In Lakeland, the bulk of cases are from Highlands Lake Center, which today reported positive cases for 7 residents, 56 residents who were transferred away and 23 staff.

Wedgewood Health Care Center in north Lakeland appeared on the list for the first time today; a patient there who tested positive for COVID-19 has been transferred away.

Scott Lake Health and Rehabilitation Center reappeared on the list today. A staff member there tested positive.

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: 26, an increase of 1
33803: 26, unchanged
33805: 48, an increase of 3
33809: 20, unchanged
33810: 30, unchanged
33811: 1-4
33812: 11, unchanged
33813: 90, an increase of 1
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, 277
  • Winter Haven, 122
  • Davenport, 69
  • Lake Wales, 42
  • Kissimmee, 40*
  • Bartow, 38
  • Auburndale, 210
  • Haines City, 16
  • Mulberry, 13
  • Fort Meade, 10
  • Lake Alfred, 5
  • Frostproof, 5
  • Poinciana, 4
  • Dundee, 3
  • Polk City, 3
  • Eagle Lake, 3
  • Wahneta, 2
  • Kathleen, 2
  • Babson Park, 2
  • Bradley, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Lake Hamilton, 1
  • Lakeshore (formerly Fedhaven), 1
  • Waverly, 1
  • No city named, 5

* 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.

Download the full Florida report released Thursday.

Tracking the cases

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com

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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