MELBOURNE, FL — Florida set a new record for its deadliest day Thursday as state health officials reported 173 new deaths, the most in any one-day period since the pandemic began.

“Those have probably been over a several-week period,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a stop in Melbourne. “We would love to have zero deaths. If we could do that, we would want as few as we can. That’s one of the reasons why we do so much in the long-term care facilities.”

While the reported deaths may have been spread over an extended period, new deaths are reported daily and Thursday marked the highest number reported by health officials in a single day following a string of record-setting days.

Health officials also reported 389,868 cases of the virus in the state, which represents an increase of 10,249 new cases over the previous 24-hour period.

“I do think that we are going to head in a better direction shortly,” DeSantis said. “There’s a whole bunch of different data points, but we’re trending much better today than we were two weeks ago.”

DeSantis said state officials did not find any wrongdoing when they looked into reports that some people who made an appointment to be tested for the virus may have received a positive test result even though they were never tested.

“We’ve not been able to identify that just with the sites that the state is running with the National Guard,” DeSantis said. He noted it was possible the incidents occurred at private test sites.

Florida’s surge in coronavirus cases continues a weekslong case spike in the state that has forced hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and turn to contract medical personnel as the influx of new patients has put pressure on ICUs.

Two Florida teachers in Sarasota and Pasco counties were among those who lost their lives to the disease this week while Miami-area firefighters issued a plea for convalescent plasma donations to help a seriously ill firefighter battling the disease.

The death toll in Florida from the coronavirus climbed to 5,518 from 5,345 a day earlier. State health officials reported another 114 non-Florida residents who died in the state from the coronavirus. A county-by-county breakdown of each of the deaths and when they were counted by state health officials can be found here.

“We would love to have zero deaths,” DeSantis said. “Here in central Florida, the fatality rate is way below the national average.”

Thursday’s death toll compares with 140 new deaths reported Wednesday (health officials reported 139), 134 new deaths reported Tuesday, 119 new deaths reported Monday (health officials reported 90 new deaths), 87 new deaths Sunday, 91 new deaths Saturday (health officials reported 90), 128 new deaths on Friday and 157 new deaths last Thursday.

Thirty-three of Florida’s 67 counties reported new deaths on Thursday.

Miami-Dade County reported 12 new deaths. Palm Beach County reported 18 new deaths. Neighboring Broward County reported seven new deaths.

Pinellas County reported 22 new deaths. Hillsborough County and Orange County each reported 18 new deaths.

Escambia County reported 10 new deaths. St. Lucie County reported seven new deaths.

Osceola County reported six new deaths as did Pasco County. Duval County reported five new deaths as did Seminole County. Martin County reported four new deaths.

Hernando County reported three new deaths as did Indian River County, Manatee County, Marion County, Polk County, and Volusia County. Brevard County reported two new deaths as did Jackson County and Lee County.

Alachua County reported one new death as did Bay County, Clay County, Columbia County, Flagler County, Lake County, Madison County, Putnam County, Santa Rosa County, and Sarasota County and Suwannee County.

Florida reported a 12.13 percent positive test rate for the virus Thursday as the number of tests reached 3,215,185.

Health officials reported 22,644 hospitalizations up from 22,243 over the previous 24-hour period. That represents an increase of 401 more hospitalizations than reported a day earlier.

Miami-Dade, which includes Miami and Miami Beach, reported 95,068 cases of the virus Thursday. Nearby Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, reported 45,010 cases. Palm Beach County, which includes Palm Beach and West Palm, reported 28,267 cases.

Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, reported 25,432 cases. Orange County, which includes Orlando, reported 25,254 cases.

In an effort to provide as much information to our readers as possible, news outlets are publishing the following county-by-county breakdown of the coronavirus cases in Florida’s 67 counties, along with the median age of patients, the number of hospital cases by county and the number of deaths.