Florida’s COVID-19 data now more accurate picture of crisis as deaths continue to climb

ORLANDO, Fla. — The reported deaths for Orange County were higher than usual Sunday, and they were even higher for Lake and Sumter counties on Saturday.

Because of previous lags in death reporting, some people have questioned whether this is an accurate current representation of the pandemic in Central Florida.

Read: Florida has administered more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccines, records show

Months ago, Channel 9 reported that lag. On any given day, as much as 1 in 5 deaths reported were from more than two months ago, but that problem has been fixed.

That, unfortunately, means the high death numbers the state is releasing now are accurate.

Sumter and Lake counties both had 30 and 28 deaths on Saturday, respectively.

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Researchers said only two deaths in the entire state reported Saturday happened more than a month ago and that most are likely from the last two weeks.

Researchers said the data continues to follow patterns Florida saw during the summer surge.

Increasing or high numbers of hospitalizations are followed five to seven days later by increasing or high numbers of deaths.

Read: More than 24,000 Floridians have died from COVID-19 complications, records show

With hospitalizations statewide still over 7,000, that means Floridians should be bracing themselves for high daily death tolls for some time.

Especially, experts say, if people don’t take the precautions necessary to stop the spread.

See the full report in the video above.