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50,000 Floridians killed by COVID-19, taking only one month since 40,000 died

Palm Beach Post - 9/16/2021

It took nearly six months for Florida's COVID-19 death toll to climb to about 40,000 from 30,000, but just over a month for the state to surpass 50,000 lives lost to what health officails are increasingly calling a preventable disease.

COVID-19 has killed 50,811 Florida residents, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, based on data it collects from the state. Florida health officials stopped reporting daily fatality counts to the public in June, instead sending statistics directly to the CDC.

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The latest update shows Florida's death toll actually surpassed 50,000 on Sept. 5. The state retroactively added fatalities that it said occurred in the past few weeks.

More statistics: COVID-19 charts and graphs

The death toll surpassed 30,000 on Feb. 7 and 40,000 on July 31, the latest state data shows.

About one in 11 newly reported deaths this month came from Florida. The state has had the second highest number of fatalities — 1,875 this month — behind only Texas. That's about 9.2% of this month's 20,407 victims across the country.

The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus ripped through the state's unvaccinated starting in late June, causing hospitals to fill up. More than 80% of COVID-19 patients in Palm Beach County, for example, are not fully inoculated, county emergency department reports have shown.

The vaccine is free of charge for recipients and available, with no appointment needed, in many places such as Publix, CVS and Walgreens.

While Florida's latest infection surge — its biggest yet — is on the decline, the state's death toll continues to spike because it can take weeks for the airborne pathogen's victims to show up in official statistics the state sends to the CDC.

The CDC reported 9,315 new infections as of Wednesday, down from the the biggest one-day spike of 27,786 on Aug. 26.

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