Florida broke a new record Saturday after the Florida Department of Health released new data on coronavirus cases in the state.
On Saturday, the FDOH reported 4,049 new people have tested positive for the respiratory illness.
Gov. Ron DeSantis called on healthcare executives and experts Friday to address the increase in coronavirus cases the state has reported over the last two weeks crediting the increase to mostly young and healthy individuals.
The governor called on several hospital executives, South Florida leaders and state medical officials to reiterate that hospitals have plenty of beds and ventilators available.
The new cases bring the state’s total of all confirmed coronavirus cases since the disease was first detected in the state on March 1 to 93,797, as well as a total of 3,144 deaths.
Since March, 12,939 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.
The surge in positive coronavirus cases comes as Florida is set to become a hub for major sports leagues. The NBA, Major League Soccer, the Amateur Athletics Union Junior Olympics and others plan to hold games and events in Florida, potentially drawing thousands of people to the state from around the world.
Governor DeSantis held a news conference Friday to provide updates on Florida’s rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The takeaway from the governor’s news conference is that he is not concerned about the spike in cases because the average age of the disease in Florida has significantly dropped. Over the past week, Florida has repeatedly reported thousands of new cases a day and on Friday more than 3,800.
The median age of a positive coronavirus case in Florida is 37 as of last week, according to the Department of Health. In Orange, Duval, Broward and Hillsborough counties the median age is between 29-33.
“This week, which (there) have been increased cases, that median age is plunging even further,” DeSantis said from the Florida International University Friday.
Speaking to the increase in younger cases, DeSantis said most have “minimal or zero symptoms, that’s a little bit different from what we did at the beginning of the pandemic.”
According to the Department of Health, 86% of the state’s 3,104 fatalities due to the virus are over 65 years old.
Florida’s unemployment rate hit a record 14.5% in May because of the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak, but there are signs the job market is improving as businesses reopen and rehire employees, federal statistics released Friday show.
Florida’s unemployment rate jumped slightly from 13.8% in April as 1.3 million residents reported being without jobs, with only Minnesota showing a higher percentage point increase, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Ten states have higher unemployment rates, including Nevada (25.3%) and Hawaii (22.6%), which are also heavily dependent on tourism. Florida’s rate had been 2.8% in February.
Florida's overall numbers masked two figures that showed some glimmer of hope. First, the state's labor force grew from 9.5 million in April to 9.7 million in May, meaning some people who had stopped looking for work in March and April rejoined the market. Still, that's 7% lower than the 10.4 million working or seeking work in February before the virus hit.
And while the percentage of that labor force that is unemployed grew, the raw number of people with jobs bumped slightly higher, growing to 8.3 million from 8.16 million. In February, 10.1 million Floridians had jobs.
Several restaurants and bars have temporarily closed as coronavirus cases go up in the Orlando area.
Will’s Pub is closing after a patron tested positive for COVID-19, according to the bar.
Lil’ Indie’s and Dirty Laundry will also be closed.
Each facility will be properly cleaned and sanitized.
Staff from Will’s Pub, Lil’ Indie’s, and Dirty Laundry are also getting tested for the virus.
To read about other restaurants and bars closing their doors in the wake of rising coronavirus cases click or tap here.