The numbers that gauge the state of COVID-19 in Polk County showed relatively small increases on Wednesday with eight new cases reported countywide, four of them in Lakeland and four in elder-care facilities. There was one death: an 82-year-old man.

The number of deaths at long-term-care facilities in Polk increased by one on Wednesday, so it’s pretty safe to assume that is the 82-year-old man, though public records don’t specfify that correlation. The man, whose case was first counted on April 14, had not traveled recently and had contacts with other confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Sixty of Polk’s 364 confirmed cases have been associated with elder-care facilities; eight of Polk’s 16 deaths have involved elder-care facilities. COVID-19 cases have been found in six Polk County elder-care facilities, three of them in Lakeland, according to a list published by the Florida Department of Health.

Polk County on Wednesday, by the numbers:

  • 364 confirmed COVID-19 cases, eight more than Tuesday
  • 118 hospitalizations, seven more than Tuesday
  • 114 cases in Lakeland, four more than Tuesday

Wednesday’s report shows that 5,530 people have been tested in Polk, up 131 from the previous day. In addition to the 364 positive readings:

  • 5,160 were negative
  • 2 were inconclusive
  • 7 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 Wednesday:

33801: 5 to 9 cases
33803: 11 cases
33805: 21 cases
33809: 10 cases
33810: 12 cases
33811: 1 to 4 cases
33812: 5 to 9 cases
33813: 59 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, 142
  • Winter Haven, 57
  • Davenport, 50
  • Kissimmee, 30*
  • Auburndale, 14
  • Lake Wales, 14
  • Mulberry, 9
  • Haines City, 8
  • Bartow, 7
  • Fort Meade, 6
  • 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 Wednesday.

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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