Polk County recorded another COVID-19 death on Tuesday as its number of confirmed cases rose by nine to 279. In Lakeland, five new cases were reported Tuesday.

Polk’s 10th COVID-19 death involved a 90-year-old man who had not traveled and who had contact with another known case. His case was first reported Monday. He was the county’s second-oldest victim, a 91-year-old male victim being reported a day earlier.

The number of people who have been hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Polk grew by four to 86 on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health’s evening report. State officials note this number is cumulative and does not reflect the number of people currently in hospitals.

The number of cases reported at nursing homes or other long-term care facilities in Polk was back at 21 on Tuesday evening after being reported at 21 on Sunday and 19 on Monday.

When asked to clarify the reduced number on Tuesday, a Polk Health Department spokeswoman said: “As epidemiology investigations are conducted and information is processed, occasionally this information is subject to change as cases and data are reviewed and verified.”

The Florida Department of Health public reports do not list the names or cities of the facilities. However, The Ledger reported today that at least six cases are residents connected to Highlands Lake Center on Lakeland Highlands Road.

Tuesday’s shows that 4,319 people have been tested in Polk, up 90 from the previous day. In addition to the 279 positive readings:

  • 4,037 were negative
  • 3 were inconclusive
  • 10 await results

The number of positive cases is likely 10 times the official number, Polk County Health Department Director Joy Jackson told city commissioners last week. 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 code data for Lakeland on Tuesday:

23 cases:

17 cases:

10 cases:

5 to 9 cases: 

1 to 4 cases:

View an interactive ZIP code map here or at the end of this article. 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.

Current totals reported for Polk cities are:

  • Lakeland, 86
  • Winter Haven, 52
  • Davenport, 46
  • Kissimmee, 24*
  • Auburndale, 13
  • Lake Wales, 13
  • Mulberry, 7
  • Haines City, 7
  • Lake Alfred, 5
  • Fort Meade, 5
  • Frostproof, 3
  • Poinciana, 3
  • Bartow, 2
  • Eagle Lake, 2
  • Babson Park, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Dundee, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Polk City, 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 Tuesday.

Tracking the cases

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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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