ORLANDO, Fla. – The Texas governor issued an executive order Thursday requiring face masks to be worn in public across most of the state as confirmed coronavirus cases surge but in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he doesn’t plan to require masks even though the virus has been deadlier in the Sunshine State and the infection rate is higher than in the Lone Star State.
For perspective, the Texas Department of Health reported most recently reported 8,029 new COVID-19 cases ahead of the governor’s order. Florida reported more than 10,100 on the same day, six times higher than the daily count of less than a month ago.
Under Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide order, face coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose in all counties that have 20 or more cases, with a few exceptions, he said in a news release. The majority of Texas’ 254 counties meet that threshold, reports News 6′s San Antonio sister station KSAT.
In his order and a statement, Abbott said wearing a mask is a proven method to slowing down the virus’ spread and said if Texans comply “more extreme measures may be avoided.”
While Florida is not under a statewide mask mandate, county and city leaders around the state have implemented their own including in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties and Jacksonville where the Republican National Convention will be held in August.
Here’s how Florida and Texas compare amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to available data in both states.
Florida DOH updates the coronavirus database in the morning whereas Texas updates its in the afternoon as of the latest numbers from both states here’s where things stand.
Florida has reported 178,594 positive cases since March 1. Texas has reported 175,977 cases.
Florida has lost 3,785 people to the virus since March. In Texas, 2,525 people have died in the same period.
Texas reports its current hospitalizations, whereas Florida has not yet and only reports the overall total. As of Thursday, the Texas DOH reported 7,382 people with serious cases were hospitalized across the state. Florida has reported 15,491 hospitalizations. Of those, 340 are new patients, one of the biggest 24-hour jumps in Florida yet.
While Texas and Florida both have around the same number of cases overall, it’s important to monitor the daily positivity rates, which is the number of new cases compared to the number of people tested on a given day. On July 1, the rate in Texas was 13.32% and Florida’s most recent was 14.91%, meaning Florida is reporting more new cases daily.
Below are the Texas and Florida department of health dashboards showing coronavirus numbers in each state: