Six new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Polk County on Sunday — three of them in Lakeland — as the rate of new hospitalizations in Polk County has slowed in recent days.

In the last four days, just two new COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported in Polk County. By comparison, the three previous four-day periods saw 16, 8 and 15 new hospital admissions each.

During the same last-four-days period, Polk County saw 706 people tested and 39 new confirmed cases.

As of Sunday, 93 people in Polk County have been placed in the hospital with COVID-19 diagnoses.

State officials note the number of people hospitalized is cumulative and does not reflect the number of people currently in hospitals.

AFTERNOON NOTE: This article was published five hours before Lakeland Regional Health announced it had taken in 35 residents from the Highland Lakes long-term-care facility in south Lakeland and that 29 of them have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday. Those hospitalizations were not showing up on the state Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard as of this morning’s update.

The new cases reported Sunday brings the county’s total to 326 and Lakeland’s to 116.

The number of cases reported at nursing homes or other long-term-care facilities in Polk was 38 on Sunday, up two from the day before. That’s a marked increase from April 6, when there were three.

Twelve COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Polk, five of them at long-term-care facilities.

Sunday’s report shows that 5,134 people have been tested in Polk, up just 80 from the previous day. In addition to the 320 positive readings:

  • 4,806 were negative
  • 2 were inconclusive
  • 8 await results

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 code data for Lakeland on Sunday:

33801: 5 to 9 cases
33803: 11 cases
33805: 19 cases
33809: 5 to 9 cases
33810: 12 cases
33811: 1 to 4 cases
33812: 1 to 4 cases
33813: 40 cases
33815: 5 to 9 cases

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.

Current totals reported for Polk cities are:

  • Lakeland, 116
  • Winter Haven, 54
  • Davenport, 48
  • Kissimmee, 29*
  • Auburndale, 13
  • Lake Wales, 13
  • Mulberry, 8
  • Haines City, 8
  • Fort Meade, 6
  • Lake Alfred, 5
  • Bartow, 5
  • Frostproof, 4
  • Poinciana, 3
  • Eagle Lake, 2
  • Babson Park, 1
  • Champions Gate, 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 Sunday.

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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