Florida has now spent about three weeks under phase two of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan and newly reported cases of COVID-19 continue to create concern as they accelerate beyond numbers seen when the pandemic first began.
Across the state, new cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported by the thousands daily, with infection numbers surpassing those seen when the pandemic first caused the state to shut down.
On Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported 8,942 new cases of COVID-19, as well as 39 new deaths and 212 additional hospitalizations. The state reported a 13.5% positivity rate for new tests conducted.
The number of newly reported cases shattered the record for the most cases of COVID-19 reported in a single day. The previous record was set on Wednesday when the state reported 5,511 cases.
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 122,960 with a total of 3,366 deaths and 13,987 hospitalizations.
Orange County alone reported 1,062 new cases of COVID-19 since approximately the same time Thursday.
A report by the FDOH showed that the city of Orlando has the second-highest total number of COVID-19 cases in the state, with 5,872 confirmed infections; the only city with more reported cases is Miami with 17,909 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
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 Florida DOH doesn’t release private lab testing in its overall total, so that percentage is difficult to determine.
[TIMELINE: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]
Nearly every day over the past month, Florida has seen large increases of reported coronavirus cases, with some days seeing a rise in reported infections that broke records for the most cases reported in a single day throughout the history of the pandemic in Florida.
While the new numbers remain high, the positive results are likely stemming from infections contracted up to two weeks prior, 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:
|County||Total cases||New cases||Deaths||Hospitalizations||New hospitalizations|
While Thursday saw more than 5,000 newly reported cases of COVID-19, the numbers were not record-breaking for the state; however, Thursday did see a record for the day with the second-most COVID-19 testing performed since the end of May with 52,372 coronavirus tests.
Health officials said that on Thursday, Orange County alone reported more new cases of COVID-19 than were reported as totals in 38 states.
News 6 broke down some of the numbers being reported daily by the FDOH and found that for the first 13 days of the pandemic, March 15 through the 26, the entire state of Florida did not exceed more than 714 newly reported cases of COVID-19 on any given day. Florida has now reported new cases in the thousands for at least the past two weeks.
Officials with the city of Mount Dora alerted residents Friday that two employees at a community park have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The positive cases were found at the Lincoln Avenue Pool at Mount Dora’s Lincoln Avenue Community Park; officials closed the pool where one of the employees worked and said it “will not reopen until the public safety risk has been eliminated and staffing ratios can return to normal.”
Mount Dora leaders said that anyone who may have been in contact with any staff members from the pool should self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
Also this week, a Lake County deputy who was assigned to the jail with more than 120 COVID-19 cases died, officials said.
The COVID-19 swab and antibody testing at the Orange County Convention Center testing site has been overwhelmed by the response for the past few days as more people seek to be tested as new cases spike.
On Friday, officials said the first car in line for testing at the convention center arrived at 1 a.m.
“Plan ahead, be prepared for a long wait,” Emergency Management officials said. “Have a full tank of gas, working A/C and windows that fully open & close.”
Lines even longer today @FLSERT #COVID19 Test Site @OCCC: 1st car was in line 1am, cars stretch back past N. Concourse and we're still almost an hour from opening time. A little planning & a lot of patience is needed⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/uRiQVGFyD0— Florida Association of Public Information Officers (@FloridaPIOs) June 26, 2020
Officials in South Florida have a new health threat to attack in addition to COVID-19. According to the Associated Press, health officials announced 10 more cases of West Nile virus have been detected in Miami-Dade County, bringing the total to 14 cases, the Miami Herald reported.
The local health department has placed Miami-Dade County under a mosquito-borne illness alert. Officials are asking residents to remove any items on their property where water can accumulate because they can develop into mosquito breeding grounds. This includes garbage cans, gutters, buckets, pools, coolers, birdbaths and pet water bowls, according to AP.
The new cases were all contracted through local transmission, health officials said. The county reported the first two cases in May, followed by two more on June 11.
Nationally, the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 Friday — eclipsing the mark set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April — in a resurgence that has led some governors to backtrack or at least pause the reopening of their states, AP reported.
While the increase is believed to partially reflect greatly expanded testing, experts say there is ample evidence the virus is making a comeback, including rising deaths and hospitalizations in parts of the country, especially in the South and West. Arizona, Texas and Florida are among the states that have been hit hard, according to AP.
[MORE DETAILS: Confirmed new virus cases hit a new high in US]
The number of confirmed infections soared past the previous high set on April 24 of 36,400, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.