Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried falsely claimed on Twitter on Sunday the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is no longer reporting COVID deaths by age group.
I’m providing you as much information as we can get about COVID-19 in Florida, as soon as we get it.
Unfortunately, Florida’s Department of Health is not reporting deaths by age group to the @CDCgov anymore, so we don’t have access to that information. Only they do for now.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) August 8, 2021
However, according to page eight of the most recent FDOH report for the week of July 30 – August 5, 2021, the report breaks down deaths into categories of “Under 16,” “16-29,” “30-39,” “40-49,” “50-59,” “60-64,” and “65+.”
In fact, according to the weekly report, the two youngest age brackets which Fried continues to discuss in a follow-up tweet showed a 0.0 percent case fatality rate for COVID positive cases. Specifically, eight children under 16 died of COVID out of nearly 300,000 cases. Similarly, 166 people in the 16-29 age bracket died out of almost 650,000 people testing positive.
The overall mortality rate for the same week in Florida was 1.5 percent.
In another of Fried’s follow up tweets, she posted a screenshot of a Tampa Bay Times article where it said:
“The state has reported eight deaths among children under 16, but that data is outdated. Florida stopped reporting COVID-19 deaths by age group to the CDC on July 17. The state did not respond to the Times’ request for the latest count of children who have died from COVID-19.”
Currently, the Tampa Bay Times article has been amended to read:
“Since the first cases were diagnosed in March of last year, 444,315 people under age 19 have been infected with COVID-19, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state has reported eight deaths among children under 16.”
The amended article currently matches the report put out by the FDOH.
This is not the first time Fried has insinuated the FDOH is hiding information. Last week, Fried claimed the FDOH has not been reporting COVID data in a timely fashion. In response, the FDOH called her accusations “inaccurate and baseless.”
“This is absolutely inaccurate and baseless,” said FDOH Communications Director Weesam Khoury. “The Florida Department of Health routinely and automatically reports COVID-19 data Monday through Friday. Public health surveillance and controlling the spread of infectious diseases have always been core functions of the Department. That has not changed.”
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