Florida hits new record with over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases

Multiple counties in Central Florida saw increase of over 100 new cases

Florida reported its highest rate of new coronavirus cases Friday since the pandemic first arrived in state, when asked about the increase in positive cases Gov. Ron DeSantis said there were several reasons including farm workers.

Florida is seeing a new trend when it comes to the number of new coronavirus cases announced.

For the past two weeks, it has been a common sight to see an additional 1,000 cases of COVID-19 announced.

For the first time on Saturday, the Florida Department of Health announced over 2,000 new positive coronavirus cases across the state.

The FDOH reported 2,581 new people have tested positive for the respiratory illness. A new record for the Sunshine State.

[READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis says most of Florida will enter phase 2 of reopening Friday]

This brings the state’s total of all confirmed coronavirus cases since the disease was first detected in the state on March 1 to 73,552, as well as a total of 2,925 deaths. 48 additional deaths were reported after Friday’s report.

Since March, 11,874 people with severe cases of the virus have required hospitalization. The state does not report the number of current patients in hospitals with the coronavirus or the number of individuals who have recovered from the disease after being diagnosed.

The newly reported cases also depend on the number of tests administered per day but the state doesn’t release private lab testing in its overall total so that percentage is difficult to determine.

[RELATED: Here’s what to expect as Florida enters phase 2 of reopening]

If you are having trouble viewing the dashboard on mobile, click here.

Here’s a breakdown of coronavirus numbers by county in the Central Florida region:

CountyTotal casesTotal deathsTotal hospitalizations

Multiple counties across Central Florida saw a large rise in cases, some reporting close to 200 new positive cases.

Some restaurants are shutting their doors for the second time during the pandemic weeks after reopening.

Kiwi’s Pub & Grill in Altamonte Springs posted a message on Facebook Friday night notifying the community of the closure.

“It saddens me to say that Kiwi’s will be closing temporarily effective immediately. We have been informed by 6 different people today that they have been infected with the Coronavirus and they have been inside Kiwis’s within the last week. This may seem like an extravagant step, however we are taking no chances with the health of our staff and our customers,” the post read.

Details were not provided on whether those six people were patrons, employees or other vendors. The message also didn’t indicate when the establishment will reopen.

CONTINUE READING: Kiwi’s Pub in Altamonte Springs closes after COVID-19 cases

During a news conference, Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said the county has seen a pronounced uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Harris said it was important to note that the increase in cases was not due to increased testing. In fact, testing numbers have dropped because the demand has also dropped.

Seminole County Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty also spoke during the news conference and implored residents to be respectful and smart by continuing to wear face masks, saying that the COVID-19 virus is an opportunistic predator.

“This is a big deal. And it’s getting worse. We were so close to zero. Close. And then we started opening up, which we should,” Husty said.

Husty said he thinks people can have semi-normal lives but should not ignore the risk of COVID-19.

“We can’t ignore that this is a big deal. This virus doesn’t know about rules. It knows about getting from one person to another, it knows about how to replicate itself. It knows that it’s going to take the opportunity,” he said. "How does this thing spread? Respiratory droplets, a little bit on surfaces. It spreads because we let it, because we give it the opportunity.”

[RELATED: ‘It spreads because we let it:’ Seminole County officials report ‘disturbing’ spike in COVID-19 cases]

SeaWorld welcomed guests inside its park Thursday for the fisrt time since the doors were shut in March.

SeaWorld is the second Central Florida theme park to open its gates after gaining a seal of approval from Gov. Ron DeSantis and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

“We’ve taken a lot of steps here to make sure that our animals, our staff and our guests are all safe,” said Jon Peterson, of SeaWorld Orlando.

Just like other Central Florida attractions, there are social distancing markings on the ground and hand sanitizer stations throughout the park for guests.

As for the rides, employees said riders will sit in every other row and workers will be constantly wiping down the seats.

“We really want to make sure they are having a good experience here when they visit all of our three parks in Orlando,” said Kyle Miller, SeaWorld Orlando park president.

The company said guests over 2 years of age are required to wear a face-covering or mask and will undergo temperature checks before entering the parks.

READ MORE: SeaWorld reopens with enhanced health guidelines as COVID-19 pandemic continues

About the Authors:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.