FL cases, hospitalizations surging, but has 2nd-lowest death rate. What’s going on?

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With COVID cases skyrocketing, Florida is experiencing one of the worst waves of the omicron variant in the United States.

Yet Florida’s death rate over the past seven days is the second lowest in the country, after only Alaska. What’s going on?

Even as record COVID cases in the U.S. were reported last week, deaths dipped slightly, and still, Florida’s death rate is distinctly low, particularly in a state with a large, vulnerable elderly population.

Experts say several factors could explain the currently low rate: Florida’s horrific toll from delta and its acquired resistance and vaccination rates may be buffering the state at a time when others states are contending with two variants. Or, because of the way Florida reports COVID deaths, which already tend to lag infections and hospitalizations, the true death rate from this recent wave may be too soon to know.

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Only months ago, the state’s death rate was among the highest in the nation. The delta wave hit Florida hard, taking the lives of more than 22,000 people between June 15 and October 15. On its worst day for deaths during the delta wave, 403 people succumbed to the disease in Florida.


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