The daily coronavirus update from the state of Florida brought more troubling numbers for Polk County:

  • 311 new COVID-19 cases countywide, the fourth highest day so far.
  • 105 cases in Lakeland, a new high
  • Five deaths
  • 13 hospitalizations
  • 22.8% of tests recorded yesterday were positive, a new high
  • 10.9% of all tests given so far have been positive, a number that keeps rising.

Although the Florida Department of Health dashboard listed five deaths, the detailed report released a little later showed specifics for four. (A few times in the past, the report's compilers neglected to mark “Yes” in the column for newly identified deaths.)

The people who died included three women whose ages were 63, 76 and 83 and a man who was 76. One of the five had lived in elder-care facilities.

This was the fifth time that five or more deaths have been reported in a single day. Four of those days were in the last week and a half.

The Department of Health reported 13 new hospitalizations in Polk, a higher number than has typically been reported in the last few weeks. Wednesday's report of four hospitalizations was lower than normal.

At Lakeland Regional Health, 152 patients are reported under care for COVID-19 today. Twenty-two of those are in intensive care, boosting the total ICU usage to 75 beds, which is more than the 68 standard ICU capacity, but well under the 118 “flex” capacity.

The rate of tests that come back positive continues to rise. The DOH COVID-19 dashboard tracks overall positive rates for each county — the proportion of tests showing positive results since testing began in March. Today's “percent positive” reading for Polk increased to 10.9%, three days after Polk crossed from the green-lettered “Within Target Range” of under 10% to the red-lettered “Above Target Range.”

Polk's positivity rate was at 4.5% just over three weeks ago. The statewide positivity rate was reported at 9.9% today, a significant increase from the 7.4% reported three days ago.

Coronavirus cases started to spike in Polk County on June 19, and each of the last 16 days have seen readings of more than 150 new cases.

Lakeland is currently in the eighth day of a 30-day mandate to wear masks or other face coverings in indoor spaces within Lakeland city limits (other than residences) where people aren’t able to maintain 6-foot distance. City commissioners voted 5-2 to require masks after Polk County Health Department Director Joy Jackson told them that local hospitals are seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 patients as the disease spreads in the community.

The median age of people testing positive in Polk has reduced from the mid-50s to 39 in recent weeks.

Latest numbers

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

  • Polk confirmed cases: 6,206, an increase of 311
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 1,938, an increase of 105
  • Polk deaths: 127, an increase of 5
  • Polk hospitalizations: 544, an increase of 13

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: 57,107, an increase of 1,037
  • Positive: 6,026
  • Negative: 50,847
  • Inconclusive: 1
  • Await results: 24
  • Overall percent positive: 10.9%, an increase of 0.4%

Long-term care facilities

  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 74, an increase of 2
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 27. 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 77 cases: 37 residents, 38 who transferred away and 2 staff members.
  • Consulate Health Care of Lakeland reports 29 cases: 9 residents, 12 who transferred away and 8 staff.
  • Grace Manor at Lake Morton reports 14 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 59.1% 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: 271, an increase of 7 since Wednesday
33803: 184, an increase of 9
33805: 342, an increase of 32
33809: 187, an increase of 12
33810: 278, an increase of 11
33811: 140, an increase of 8
33812: 84, an increase of 4
33813: 282, an increase of 9
33815: 150, an increase of 10

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, 1,938
  • Winter Haven, 1,343
  • Davenport, 471
  • Haines City, 328
  • Bartow, 279
  • Kissimmee, 238*
  • Auburndale, 233
  • Lake Wales, 230
  • Polk City, 222
  • Mulberry, 233
  • Frostproof, 150
  • Fort Meade, 129
  • Avon Park, 65*
  • Lake Alfred, 60
  • Eagle Lake, 38
  • Dundee, 26
  • Lake Hamilton, 16
  • Poinciana, 14
  • Babson Park, 13
  • Waverly, 9
  • Kathleen, 4
  • Homeland, 4
  • Wahneta, 4
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 4
  • Highland City, 3
  • Eloise, 3
  • Eaton Park, 2
  • Alturas, 2
  • River Ranch, 1
  • Loughman, 1
  • Gibsonia, 1
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Bradley, 2
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Clermont, 1*
  • No city named, 114

* 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, and Avon Park in Highlands County.

Download the latest detailed Florida report | View archived reports

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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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1 Comment

  1. I personally would like to know how many people have recovered. I would also like to know percentage of cases to total population. What treatments are currently being used and tested and how effective they are. This virus is really contagious and serious to elderly with other conditions but for most of the cases people recover. At this point the other side of the story needs to be told too.

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