As Florida nears the end of its second week under phase 2 of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan, newly reported cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state.
The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 3,207 new cases of COVID-19, as well as 43 new deaths.
The state also reported 188 new hospitalizations due to more serious cases of the respiratory illness.
The new statistics bring the total number of reported COVID-19 cases in Florida since the disease was first reported in the state on March 1 to 85,926, with 3,061 deaths and 12,577 total hospitalizations.
On Tuesday, the state reported the largest jump in newly reported cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the state, with 2,783 new cases.
The state does not report the number of current patients in hospitals with the coronavirus, but rather the overall total. The state also does not share 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.
Nearly every day over the past two weeks, Florida has seen large increases of reported coronavirus cases, with some days seeing a rise in reported infections that rival numbers when the disease first hit the state in early March.
While the new numbers remain high, the positive results are likely stemming from infections up to two weeks previous, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that the coronavirus has an incubation period of two to 14 days before symptoms become apparent, if at all.
Some individuals may never experience any symptoms of COVID-19 but may still be positive for the disease, which can lead to asymptomatic spread.
Here’s how coronavirus cases break down locally by county:
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has been felt across Central Florida, especially in Orange and Seminole counties.
Leaders in Seminole County said positive cases of coronavirus have doubled in past weeks, while the average age of those becoming infected has trended downwards.
Emergency management officials in Seminole said during contact tracing many of those patients admitting to attending pool parties or similar events during the Memorial Day weekend, drinking at bars near UCF and going to restaurants where other cases have been identified.
Meanwhile, Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale Jr. said at a coronavirus testing site Wednesday that seven firefighters across several stations throughout the city had tested positive for COVID-19 and 64 firefighters, including those who tested positive, were in quarantine or self-isolation due to contact concerns.
The chief said four of the seven firefighters are new hires going through the training academy, while the other three positive cases were from operational firefighters.
On Thursday, the state reported Orange County alone saw 316 newly reported cases of COVID-19.
Nationally, about 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a historically high number, even as the economy increasingly reopens and employers bring some people back to work, according to a report by the Associated Press.
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s dashboard, which was last updated on Tuesday, over 2.3 million Floridians have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March.
The DEO dashboard shows that over $6.3 billion has been paid out to claimants, although issues with receiving benefits still continue to plague the state.