For the second day in a row, two new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Polk County, and both were from elder-care facilities, according to today's update from the Florida Department of Health. Polk County added 11 confirmed cases of the disease, two of them in Lakeland.

The deaths involve an 83-year-old woman whose case was confirmed on April 20 and an 88-year-old man whose case was confirmed on Saturday.

Both were former residents of Opis Highlands Lake Center in south Lakeland who had been transferred to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, according to an article in The Ledger citing information from the 10th Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office.

At least 10 of the 13 Polk long-term-care residents who have died of COVID-19 had been residents of Highlands Lake, The Ledger reported.

Fifteen of Polk's 22 COVID-19 fatalities were people older than 80, according to the latest Department of Health update.

Overall numbers

This morning's totals compared with the previous day:

  • Polk confirmed cases: 468, an increase of 11
  • Lakeland confirmed cases: 190, an increase of 2
  • Polk deaths: 22, an increase of two
  • Polk hospitalizations: 127, an increase of 4

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: 7,157, an increase of 152 over the previous day
  • Positive: 468, an increase of 11
  • Negative: 6,680
  • Inconclusive: 2
  • Await results: 7

Long-term care facilities

  • Cases involving Polk facilities: 75 were reported today, unchanged.
  • Deaths involving Polk facilities: 13, an increase of 2
  • Number of Polk facilities with reported cases: 7 | List

The number of positive cases is likely 10 times the official number, Polk County Health Department Director Joy Jackson told city commissioners recently.

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 that until recently only people showing severe symptoms and/or high risk were tested.

New Polk County data

The Florida Department of Health recently started releasing a new county-by-county series of charts. Today's update includes only eight counties, and Polk isn't among them. We'll check back and post the Polk County charts if they become available. Here are Tuesday's charts 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: 10, unchanged
33803: 15, an increase of 1
33805: 32, unchanged
33809: 14, unchanged
33810: 15, unchanged
33811: 1 to 4
33812: 5, unchanged
33813: 80, an increase of 1
33815: 7, unchanged

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, 190
  • Winter Haven, 75
  • Davenport, 51
  • Kissimmee, 35*
  • Bartow, 20
  • Lake Wales, 19
  • Auburndale, 15
  • Haines City, 12
  • Mulberry, 10
  • Fort Meade, 8
  • Lake Alfred, 5
  • Frostproof, 4
  • Poinciana, 4
  • Eagle Lake, 2
  • Wahneta, 2
  • Kathleen, 1
  • Babson Park, 1
  • Bradley, 1
  • Champions Gate, 1
  • Cypress Gardens, 1
  • Dundee, 1
  • Indian Lakes Estates, 1
  • Polk City, 1
  • Lake Hamilton, 1
  • No city named, 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 the full Florida report released 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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