Florida coronavirus-related death toll tops 34,000

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus-related death toll topped 34,000 on Wednesday.

The milestone comes as the state reported an additional 89 deaths, bringing the state total to 34,072.

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Of the latest deaths, 16 were reported in Central Florida, including seven in Polk County and five in Lake County.

Florida also reported an additional 5,294 cases of the virus on Wednesday. That brings the total number in the state since the pandemic began to 2,057,735.

Of the latest cases, 1,100 were reported in Central Florida.

The increases come as Pfizer-BioNtech announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in protecting children ages 12-15 against symptomatic cases of the disease, leaving parents to ask how soon they can get their children vaccinated.

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Dr. James Wood, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases, writes for The Conversation that while the news of Pfizer’s trial results are encouraging, it will be a while before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of the vaccine for those aged 12-15.

“If their (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are shown to be safe and effective and regulators authorize them, kids 12 and up could be vaccinated before school starts in the fall,” Wood wrote.

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“Realistically, young children probably won’t be eligible for the vaccine until late fall or winter at the earliest. Moderna announced in mid-March that it had started testing its vaccine in children ages 6 months to 11 years,” Wood said. “Pfizer said it is also starting testing in young children, but these trials take time.”

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See a county-by-county breakdown of total (and new) cases below, and click here for an interactive map of cases statewide:

ORANGE: CASES: 123,683 (+331); DEATHS: 1,186 (+1)

OSCEOLA: CASES: 39,604 (+83); DEATHS: 485 (+1)

SEMINOLE: CASES: 30,052 (+97); DEATHS: 466 (0)

POLK: CASES: 61,175 (156); DEATHS: 1,254 (+7)

VOLUSIA: CASES: 38,265 (+196); DEATHS: 717 (+1)

BREVARD: CASES: 37,190 (+74); DEATHS: 808 (+1)

FLAGLER: CASES: 6,685 (+30); DEATHS: 96 (0)

LAKE: CASES: 26,679 (+75); DEATHS: 606 (+5)

MARION: CASES: 29,044 (+48); DEATHS: 919 (+1)

SUMTER: CASES: 8,790 (+10); DEATHS: 257 (-1)

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.