FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Florida reported another 187 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, to go along with the highest daily total of infections in a week.
The coronavirus pandemic still has its grips on a state where 8,238 people have died from disease complications and 526,577 people have been diagnosed with infections.
It's been three consecutive days of increases in both COVID-19 cases and fatalities, though the totals are not close to the record highs set last month. There were 180 deaths reported on Friday and 120 deaths listed on Thursday; the peak was 257 deaths on July 31.
The daily totals are not reflective of deaths in the past 24 hours, but rather recent weeks. And the test results reported on a single day typically reflect tests taken over several days.
The state Department of Health reported 8,502 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, after two straight days of about 7,600 cases. It's the highest number since 9,642 cases were posted Aug. 1.
But Florida has not tallied more than 10,000 cases appeared on a daily report for two weeks, since a report of 12,199 people testing positive July 25.
The percentage of positive tests remained steady at about 10% among people who tested positive for the first time across the state, for the previous day.
On Thursday, it was 8.3%, the lowest daily mark since June 21, when it was 7.7%. The state had a 15% positivity rate on most days during the first week of July. The state processes close to 100,000 test results per day.
Public health experts say the positivity rate is an important figure, since it indicates the prevalence of the disease in the population. The World Health Organization had advised governments that before reopening, the rate should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.