By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The COVID-19 death toll in Florida has jumped to 53,580 people after a state Department of Health report Friday added 2,340 deaths.

The 53,580 deaths, as of Thursday, were up from 51,240 deaths reported a week earlier.

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More broadly, the new numbers reflected the continuing effects of a surge in cases in recent months that drove up deaths.

As an example, the Department of Health Aug. 27 reported that 43,979 people had died since the start of the pandemic.

That means the death total has increased by 9,601 in less than a month.

In all, Florida had totaled 3,539,272 cases as of Thursday.

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The surge was fueled by the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, which particularly threatened unvaccinated people.

After hospitals filled with patients this summer, the state has seen steady decreases in hospitalizations in September.

Numbers posted Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said 7,478 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida.

That was less than half of the 17,088 patients with COVID-19 a month earlier.

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