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Projected fatalities in the Sunshine State would drop by more than 3,500 by December 1, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

FLORIDA –  According to a new projection from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Florida’s nearly 8,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus will double by October and spike to 19,358 by December 1. However, if face masks were to be used universally, that number would drop by more than 3,500 to 15,765, the IHME reported Thursday. 

On the other hand, the report warns that an easing of safety measures could have Florida’s deaths surge to 61,938 by Dec.1.

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Friday’s daily total marks the sixth consecutive day that the Sunshine State reports fewer than 8,000 new cases.

This could be the result of the public’s adherence to social distancing and other safety measures dictated by health officials, as well as the local mandates for mask use and the closing of bars and restaurants.

“Such efforts to act more cautiously and responsibly will be an important aspect of COVID-19 forecasting and the up-and-down patterns in individual states throughout the coming months and into next year.”

The Numbers in Florida

On Friday August 7 Florida’s Department of Health (DOH) announced 7,686 new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, raising the state’s known total to 518,075 confirmed cases.The number of deaths among the state’s residents increased by 180, bringing the resident statewide toll to 7,927 fatalities.

Miami-Dade County saw 1,732 new confirmed cases of the illness. The county now has 129,409 confirmed cases. Twenty-five new deaths were reported, which raises the county total to 1,809 fatalities.

Broward County had 688 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 —16 fewer than Thursday’s new cases.  The county now has a known total of 60,746 cases. No new deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 782 fatalities.

Palm Beach County reported 377 new confirmed cases, which is 77 fewer than the number reported Thursday. The county now has 36,114 confirmed cases. With 27 new deaths, the toll stands at 919 fatalities.

Monroe County reported 18 additional cases of the novel coronavirus, or 16 fewer than Thursday. The Florida Keys now have 1,456 confirmed cases. No new deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 13.

The numbers of new cases and fatalities across the state may be undercounted, as the FOH may take up to two weeks to report the number of positive results from private labs. Similarly, in the past the number of fatalities issued by the Medical Examiner’s Office has consistently been 10% higher than reported.

Rebekah Jones, the Florida government data scientist who was fired from Florida’s Department of Health (DOH), where she created and managed the state’s coronavirus dashboard, has created her own COVID-19 board, a parallel site that she claims will reveal the numbers that the state has not been reporting.

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