Florida shatters national record for new coronavirus cases
Florida finds itself at the center of the country’s recent coronavirus surge, with new cases and deaths mounting fast.
Throughout the country, cases continue to rise and multiple states imposed new restrictions and reversed reopening plans. Lilia Luciano reports.
What measures has Florida’s governor taken to address the surge in coronavirus cases?
Florida Shatters National Record for New Coronavirus Cases
Florida has broken the national record for the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, reporting a staggering 15,299 new infections on July 12, 2020. The previous record was set by New York in April with 12,274 new cases. The state, which has become an epicenter of the virus, now has a total of over 269,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,200 deaths.
The surge in cases comes after Florida partially reopened its economy in May and its beaches in June. The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has faced criticism for not mandating the use of masks, although he has recently allowed local governments to require them. However, the governor has resisted imposing stricter measures, arguing that the state’s economy cannot afford another shutdown.
The rise in cases has also put a strain on Florida’s hospitals, with some already reaching their capacity. Miami-Dade, the state’s largest county, reported that its ICU beds were at 127% capacity, while other hospitals have had to convert non-ICU beds to accommodate COVID-19 patients. The state’s health department has set up field hospitals to help alleviate the pressure on hospitals, but medical professionals warn that the surge in cases could overwhelm the healthcare system.
In addition to the surge in cases, the positivity rate, which measures the percentage of people who test positive for the virus, has also been on the rise in Florida. As of July 12, the state’s positivity rate was 19.6%, compared to 4.4% in late May. The World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate of below 5% for at least 14 days before easing restrictions, indicating widespread testing and effective control of the virus. Florida’s rising positivity rate suggests that the state needs to increase testing and implement stricter measures to control the spread of the virus.
The soaring number of cases in Florida has raised concerns among health experts and officials across the country, with some calling for a national response to the crisis. The national director of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Dr. Thomas File, has urged the federal government to take more action to combat the virus in states with surges like Florida, warning that without intervention, the country could face a “very difficult fall and winter.”
In conclusion, Florida’s breaking of the national record for new coronavirus cases is a concerning development in the ongoing pandemic. The surge in cases, positivity rate, and strain on hospitals highlight the urgent need for increased testing and stricter measures to control the spread of the virus. The situation in Florida also underscores the need for a coordinated national response to the crisis, as states with surges may require more support from the federal government to combat the virus effectively.