Florida Covid-19 Cases Rise by 9,585, Most During Pandemic

Henrietta Brewer
June 29, 2020

With a record for cases seemingly set nearly daily across Florida, it's no surprise that the state established a new one-week high as the rampant grip of COVID-19 has exploded.

Governor Gavin Newsom's order for bars to close in Los Angeles and six other counties followed moves by Texas and Florida to shut all their bars on Friday. One bar in East Lansing, Michigan has been linked to more than 85 cases, according to local health officials who say that number is likely to rise.

On Thursday, Florida reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, reported the Associated Press.

The states' U-turn on easing lockdown comes as, in the United Kingdom, bars and restaurants are now preparing to open their doors again on 4 July. Georgia reported a record increase of 2,225 cases on Sunday.

The surge in COVID-19 cases has been most pronounced in a handful of Southern and Western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, despite warnings by health officials to wait to see a steady decline in cases.

Some beaches in Florida are also closing ahead of next weekend's Fourth of July holiday, which would have drawn large crowds.

The new cases bring the total in Florida to 141,075 with 3,419 deaths.

Ms Kami Kim, director of the division of infectious disease and worldwide medicine at the University of South Florida, said her state's leaders claimed victory too soon after lockdowns were lifted in early May, while sending conflicting messages on face coverings by not wearing masks themselves.

Just a day after he sounded a note of optimism about the USA response to the pandemic and said the country was in "a much better place", Vice President Mike Pence cancelled events to campaign for Republican President Donald Trump's re-election in Florida and Arizona due to the outbreak, campaign officials said on Saturday. Some Florida cities also cancelled July 4 fireworks displays.

But despite the skyrocketing case numbers, both Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have refused to issue statewide mandates on mask-wearing, opting instead to leave that decision to local municipalities. The one-day increase of 9,585 was the most ever.

"Caution was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are", DeSantis said.

At a briefing on Friday, DeSantis blamed the spike in infections on young people interacting more in the last few weeks, adding that they faced a lower risk of dying than older people.

Lending support to that view, the average age of infected people in Florida has dropped sharply - to 33 from 65 two months ago.

He said the increase is not unexpected as testing has increased especially among younger Floridians.

Other reports by iNewsToday