As June fades to July, Polk County today surpassed 100 deaths from COVID-19 and exceeded 4,000 confirmed cases — only 10 days after exceeding 2,000 cases, according to updates from the Florida Department of Health.

Older patients still dominate among those who die from the disease — all nine people whose deaths were reported Tuesday and today were 70 or older — but no longer are nursing home residents the dominant victims.

The five deaths reported Tuesday involved two women ages 88 and 99 and three men, ages 71, 72 and 78. Two of the five had been residents of elder-care facilities.

Among the four deaths reported today, one was a 96-year-old woman and three were men, ages 70, 72 and 73. One of the four had lived at an elder-care facility.

The 212 new cases reported in Polk today represents the county’s fifth highest reading, and Lakeland’s 66 new cases represents the city’s third highest day.

Statewide, 6,563 new COVID-19 cases were reported today, the fourth highest day so far. The previous high readings occurred in the last six days.

A new national map published by a coalition of health research institutions and coordinated by the Harvard Global Health Institute includes county-by-county data based on cases per 100,000 population.

View the live interactive map

Florida’s 30.1 cases per 100,000 ranks behind only Arizona where there are 39.1 cases per 100k. Polk’s figure is 28.7, which is below the state average but still high enough to be ranked among the 22 Florida counties where the study’s authors suggest a stay-at-home order is necessary.

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 to 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 8.5% today. It was at 4.5% a little more than 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: 4,048, an increase of 212
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 1,317, an increase of 66
  • Polk deaths: 102, an increase of 4
  • Polk hospitalizations: 478, an increase of 7

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: 47,388, an increase of 936
  • Positive: 4,048
  • Negative: 43,316
  • Inconclusive: 1
  • Await results: 18
  • Overall percent positive: 8.5%, an increase of 0.2%

Long-term care facilities

  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 67, an increase of 1
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 29. Here’s a link to the most recent report.

Lakeland facilities with high numbers:

  • Highlands Lake Center reports 110 cases: 81 residents who were transferred away and 29 staff.
  • Lakeland Hills Center reports 78 cases: 38 residents, 38 who transferred away and 2 staff members.
  • Consulate Health Care of Lakeland reports 26 cases: 9 residents, 12 who transferred away and 5 staff.
  • Grace Manor at Lake Morton reports 17 cases, all residents who were transferred away.

A large majority of COVID-19 deaths in Polk County have involved people who have lived in long-term-care facilities, though the proportion has come down from more than 75% a few weeks ago to 65.7% today:

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: 182, an increase of 30 since Sunday
33803: 126, an increase of 13
33805: 242, an increase of 25
33809: 125, an increase of 27
33810: 189, an increase of 24
33811: 92, an increase of 4
33812: 557, an increase of 8
33813: 2143, an increase of 21
33815: 87, an increase of 16

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, 1,317
  • Winter Haven, 896
  • Davenport, 303
  • Bartow, 242
  • Haines City, 188
  • Lake Wales, 162
  • Auburndale, 156
  • Kissimmee, 152*
  • Mulberry, 141
  • Fort Meade, 104
  • Frostproof, 97
  • Lake Alfred, 40
  • Eagle Lake, 30
  • Polk City, 29
  • Poinciana, 14
  • Dundee, 13
  • Babson Park, 11
  • Waverly, 8
  • Lake Hamilton, 6
  • Kathleen, 4
  • Wahneta, 3
  • Homeland, 3
  • Highland City, 2
  • Eaton Park, 1
  • Eloise, 1
  • Loughman, 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, 97

* 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 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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