Florida reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases on Thursday—more than any day since the pandemic began, as rolling averages for new cases and percentage of tests coming back positive continue to rise a little over two weeks after some beaches in the state were packed for Memorial Day.
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – JUNE 10: Beachgoers take advantage of the opening of South Beach on June 10, … [+]
Florida’s Department of Health reported 1,698 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which is almost 20% higher than the 1,419 cases recorded on June 4—the old daily high.
The state has recently had some of its highest new daily case counts since the pandemic began; five of the eight highest days have come in June.
Testing has increased in the state, but the percentage of tests coming back positive has also been on the rise—a key metric in determining whether the spread of the virus is ramping up.
But hospitalizations—another key metic—haven’t taken a significant jump yet, while deaths have generally trended downward this month, though increases in those stats can lag behind a rise in cases.
Much of Florida went to Phase 2 of its reopening last week, with restaurants, bars and gyms open at 50% capacity—except for some counties in the southern part of the state, the area where the virus has hit the hardest.
Officials have given little public indication that they tend to slow down the state’s reopening, though restaurants have only been able to open at 50% capacity, despite earlier plans to be at 75% capacity in Phase 2.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been eager to reopen the state’s economy, starting the process on May 4 when he moved much of the state into Phase 1 of its reopening. The loosened restrictions in Florida compared to other states led many to its popular vacation sites for Memorial Day, which featured packed beaches in parts of the state.
The recent spike in Florida has been echoed in several other states, as health experts fear that the Memorial Day gatherings and the subsequent protests over the death of George Floyd might be leading into a second wave of infection.
69,069 — That’s the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida thus far.