The latest COVID-19 updates from the Florida Department of Heath brings sobering news about long-term-care facilities in Polk County:

  • Both of the people whose deaths were reported today had been residents of those facilities. They now account for 50 of Polk’s 66 COVID-19 deaths, or 75.76%, the highest proportion yet.
  • The six elder-care facilities where deaths were reported last week have each had at least one more death this week.

The two new Polk deaths involve a 68-year-old woman whose case was confirmed May 6 and an 81-year-old woman whose case was confirmed May 20.

Almost half of the elder-care deaths in Polk have involved residents of Highlands Lake Center on Lakeland Highlands Road. That facility reported 23 deaths out of the 47 fatalities accounted for in the weekly update of long-term-care deaths released Friday night. The three latest elder-care deaths were not accounted for in Friday’s report.

Only five elder-care facilities in Florida have reported more deaths than Highlands Lake Center.

The long-term-care facilities in Polk with reported deaths:

  • Highlands Lake Center: 23 deaths, an increase of 2 this week
  • Consulate Health Care of Lakeland on North Socrum Loop Road: 7 deaths, an increase of 1 this week
  • Lakeland Hills Center on East Bella Vista Street: 5 deaths, an increase of 2 this week
  • Brandywyne Health Care Center in Winter Haven: 5 deaths, an increase of 1 this week
  • Palm Garden of Winter Haven: 5 deaths, an increase of 1 this week
  • Grace Manor at Lake Morton on Lime Street: 2 deaths, an increase of 1 this week

Another report on Friday — the daily report on confirmed cases at long-term-care facilities — included two Lakeland facilities that had not been listed previously:

  • Arbor Oaks at Lakeland Hills on Lakeland Hills Boulevard reported one resident tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Florida Presbyterian Homes Inc. on Lake Hunter Drive reported a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The number new COVID-19 tests reported for Polk County today was 994, the second highest so far. With 18 new positive cases included in today’s report, the cumulative average of positives of Polk dropped one-tenth of a percentage to 4.6%, the lowest proportion so far.

Latest numbers

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

  • Polk confirmed cases: 1,145, an increase of 18
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 463, an increase of 7
  • Polk deaths: 66, an increase of 2
  • Polk hospitalizations: 338, an increase of 2

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: 24,765, an increase of 994
  • Positive: 1,145
  • Negative: 23,612
  • Inconclusive: 6
  • Await results: 10
  • Percent positive: 4.6%, a decrease of .1%

The number of people tested is 3.42% of Polk County’s estimated population of 724,777 people. The Florida Department of Health’s goal is to see 500 people a day tested this month.

Long-term care facilities

  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 50, an increase of 2
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 9, Here’s a link to today’s report, but note that this link lasts only until the next day’s report is issued.

In Lakeland, the bulk of cases are from Highlands Lake Center, which for the last few days has reported positive cases for 93 people: 67 residents who were transferred away and 26 staff.

In addition, Grace Manor at Lake Morton today reported 45 cases: 38 residents who were transferred away and 7 staff. That reflects that one more former resident has tested positive.

A large majority of COVID-19 deaths in Polk County have involved people who have lived in long-term-care facilities:

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: 72
33803: 36
33805: 84
33809: 47
33810: 54
33811: 13
33812: 16
33813: 113
33815: 18

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, 463
  • Winter Haven, 214
  • Davenport, 97
  • Bartow, 64
  • Lake Wales, 60
  • Kissimmee, 57*
  • Auburndale, 37
  • Haines City, 33
  • Mulberry, 30
  • Fort Meade, 14
  • Frostproof, 13
  • Poinciana, 8
  • Lake Alfred, 6
  • Eagle Lake, 6
  • Dundee, 5
  • Polk City, 5
  • Babson Park, 3
  • Wahneta, 2
  • Kathleen, 2
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Bradley, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Lake Hamilton, 1
  • Waverly, 1
  • Lakeshore (formerly Fedhaven), 1
  • Clermont, 1*
  • No city named, 6

* 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.

Download the latest detailed Florida report | View archived reports

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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