Fact Check: Did CDC Correct Florida COVID Numbers After Record High Posted?

Health officials in Florida disputed figures that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released about COVID infections in the Sunshine State.

The Claim

The CDC had to amend its figures for Sunday, August 8, after the Florida Department of Health contested its figures, which listed 28,317 new COVID cases that day.

The initial CDC figure would have been a record for one day as hospitals in the state are being severely tested by a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Facts

The Florida Department of Health noticed a discrepancy in its COVID figures for August 8 and those being reported by the media.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweeted a CDC graph on Monday that it said showed the state hitting yet another record number of new daily cases, reporting 28,317 on Sunday.

"Here's the updated state data including cases, deaths, vaccination rates and hospitalizations," the tweet added.

However, in sharing the tweet, the state's health department wrote: "Wrong again. The number of cases @CDCgov released for Florida today is incorrect.

"They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record," it added.

In another tweet, the health department said that Florida had followed CDC guidelines in reporting cases Monday through to Friday, other than holidays.

"Consequently, each Monday or Tuesday, there will be two or three days of data reported at a time," it said. "When data is published, it is attributed evenly to the previous days."

Meanwhile, Florida Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Shamarial Roberson told Fox News: "It is very important that data is accurate," and "the people of Florida, they deserve it."

The CDC told the media on Tuesday it was working with Florida officials to correct the inaccuracies. It adjusted the number on its website to 19,584, although this was still higher than the health department's figure of 15,319.

Despite the recalculation, the state is seeing high numbers of infections, with Tuesday registering a record 24,753 new cases.

Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida, said that instead of spreading the 56,386 cases from Friday through Sunday over three days, the federal agency spread them over two days.

"It appears the CDC divided by two instead of three," he told the Palm Beach Post.

Governor Ron DeSantis has been at the center of controversy for his opposition to several CDC recommendations, such as mask mandates in schools.

However, spokesperson for DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, denied claims that the health department and the CDC were "feuding," telling the New York Post: "Mistakes happen" and that "we appreciate that the CDC corrected the error."

Newsweek has contacted the CDC for comment.

The Ruling

Fact Check - True

True.

FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK

The Centers for Disease Control did amend the number of COVID infections in Florida for August 8.

Vaccine in Miami, Florida is administered
A health care worker administers a COVID vaccine at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida, on August 5, 2021. The CDC figures for Florida were disputed by the state's department of health. CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty