Florida surpasses 50K COVID deaths after battling delta waveFriday, September 17, 2021
MIAMI (AP) — Florida surpassed 50,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, health officials reported Thursday, with more than one-fourth of those succumbing this summer as the state battled a fierce surge in infections fueled by the delta variant.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied 50,811 deaths after adding more than 1,500 COVID-19 deaths provided Thursday by the state's health department. Those reported deaths occurred over various dates in recent weeks.
Florida has the 11th worst per-capita death rate among the 50 states, the CDC says. New Jersey, Mississippi and New York have had the worst, but Florida has risen from the 17th spot in the past two weeks. Overall, about one in every 400 Florida residents who were alive in March 2020 has since died of COVID-19. Only cancer and heart disease have killed more Floridians during that period, according to state health department statistics.
"It has been a really tough year and a half,” Governor Ron DeSantis said during a recent Fort Lauderdale news conference. The Republican governor, who has advocated against mask and vaccine mandates, said the most recent wave, which began in June, has struck younger and healthier people. "It is affecting families in ways that we are not used to, so it has been really, really rough."