For the fourth day in a row, a new COVID-19 death was reported in Polk County on Thursday. The number of confirmed cases in Polk rose by 15 to 379, with nine of those cases in Lakeland.

Polk’s 17th death involves an 84-year-old man who had been in contact with another confirmed COVID-19 case, the Florida Department of Health reported. His case was first confirmed on April 8.

One of the metrics we’re watching is the availability of hospital beds at Lakeland Regional Health and countywide. (See the chart at the end of this article.) Last night, Lakeland Regional reported all 68 of its ICU beds were filled. This morning it is reporting that 59 out of 68 beds are filled. Last night’s figure represents the only time we’ve seen full capacity in any category since we started tracking hospital beds three weeks ago. (We check once a day in the evening.)

Overall numbers

Thursday’s totals compared with the previous day:

  • Polk confirmed cases: 379, an increase of 15
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 151, an increase of 9
  • Polk deaths: 17, an increase of one
  • Polk hospitalizations: 118, no change

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: 5,728, an increase of 198 over the previous day
  • Positive: 379 positive
  • Negative: 5,340 negative
  • Inconclusive: 2
  • Await results: 7

Long-term care facilities

  • Cases involving Polk facilities: 61, an increase of one
  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 8, unchanged
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 6 | List

The number of positive cases is likely 10 times the official number, Polk County Health Department Director Joy Jackson told city commissioners recently. Those who test positive now probably contracted the disease two to three weeks ago, given the time it takes for symptoms to show and test results to be processed.

In addition, the numbers of people being tested remains tiny compared with Polk County’s estimated population of 708,000 people. A shortage of test kits means only people who meet CDC criteria are being tested.

ZIP Codes

Cases in Lakeland ZIP codes:

33801: 5 to 9
33803: 12, an increase of one over the previous day
33805: 25, an increase of four
33809: 12, an increase of two
33810: 14, an increase of two
33811: 1 to 4
33812: 5 to 9
33813: 59, unchanged
33815: 5 to 9

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, 151
  • Winter Haven, 59
  • Davenport, 51
  • Kissimmee, 30*
  • Lake Wales, 15
  • Auburndale, 14
  • Mulberry, 9
  • Haines City, 9
  • Bartow, 7
  • Fort Meade, 7
  • Lake Alfred, 5
  • Frostproof, 4
  • Poinciana, 3
  • Eagle Lake, 2
  • Babson Park, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Dundee, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Polk City, 1
  • Wahneta, 1

* 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 a full report for Thursday.

Tracking the cases

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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.

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