As Biden announces vaccine mandate, Florida averages 14,300+ daily COVID cases

New federal requirements impact as many as 100 million Americans

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – President Joe Biden announced sweeping new federal vaccine mandates Thursday evening as a way to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant.

Employers with more than 100 workers will be required to be vaccinated or test weekly for the virus, a move that will impact about 80 million Americans, according to the Associated Press. With this group, there are about 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said during Thursday’s announcement.

The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are,” he added.

As Florida continues to see a high number of COVID-19 cases, AdventHealth officials said this week it is seeing a drop in patients but warned against another surge.

Dr. Sanjay Pattani, associate chief medical officer of AdventHealth Orlando and executive medical director of the healthcare system’s Mission Control, joined Dr. Eduardo Oliveria, executive medical director of critical care services for AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, during Thursday’s update and said while we are past the peak of the delta surge, they are anticipating future spikes in cases.

“We should expect surges and spikes. If you look at the trends from the past three or four surges, they usually have about a window of about four to six months,” Pattani said.

The decrease in hospitalizations has also prompted AdventHealth to move from “red” to “yellow” status, which allows for more deferred surgical procedures. The hospital was in “black” status during the peak and postponed all non-emergency surgeries. Meanwhile, Orange County officials confirmed during a weekly COVID-19 update the county has met its vaccination goal. The county confirmed 70% of people who are 12 years and older have received a COVID-19 vaccine. The county is also seeing a 14-day rolling positivity rate of 14.32%, according to officials.

A Florida judge once again ruled against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mask policy for students Wednesday, lifting a stay to his initial ruling and allowing school districts to enact mask mandates as the case moves forward on appeal. Now that the stay has been lifted, the ruling clears the way for school districts to enforce mask mandates without giving parents the ability to opt-out.

In response to Cooper’s second ruling, the state filed an emergency motion asking an appeals court to reinstate a stay, which would allow the state to continue to penalize school districts for requiring masks.

Following the judge’s ruling, several Central Florida school boards were set to discuss mask policies. In Lake County, school board members approved a new plan Thursday that will require masks on school campuses with a COVID-19 transmission rate above 5% for at least two weeks. Students can still opt-out with a note from a parent. The Volusia County School Board was set to meet Thursday to discuss its new mask policy, but officials canceled the emergency meeting to allow time to wait for an appeals court decision about DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates in schools.

[READ THE LAST COVID-19 REPORT: Florida averages 18,457 COVID cases per day as schools reconsider mask policies]

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Sept. 10.


The Florida Department of Health reported 100,249 new cases on Friday that occurred during the past week, bringing the state’s overall total to 3,409,165 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020. That is an average of 14,321 new infections reported per day.

Even though the Florida DOH released numbers once a week, the state is still reporting daily infections to the CDC. Below is the CDC daily number, which is 24 hours behind.


Florida reported 353 new virus-related deaths Friday from the past week but the cumulative death toll of 46,772 actually shows there have been 2,448 new deaths added to the state total. The state has not provided any information as to when these deaths occurred.

The state stopped reporting the number of non-residents who died in Florida with its new weekly reporting method.


The state Agency for Health Care Administration deleted its current COVID-19 hospitalization database and the state is no longer reporting how many patients have been hospitalized with the virus. However, Florida is still required to report that information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC continues to release that information online. The most recent hospital numbers show 12,087 adult and 175 pediatric patients in Florida.

Positivity rate

The DOH reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 13.5% but did not provide how many people were tested during the past week. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.


The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state. In the new weekly reports, the state is combining the vaccination data with the COVID-19 infection numbers.

FDOH reports 11,048,444 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

During the past week, 124,552 new people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Central Florida region

The state is no longer providing a breakdown of county-by-county deaths or hospitalizations as of June 3. The Florida DOH is also no longer providing county numbers for non-residents who have tested positive, causing the total case numbers to drop significantly, in some counties by more than 1,000 cases.

For example, with non-resident positive cases as of June 3, Orange County had reported a total of 143,198 but with the state’s new reporting method, the county has 141,941 total cases, a difference of 1,257 positive cases.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases and new vaccination numbers between Sept.3 -Sept. 9, 2021.

CountyTotal cases as of Sept. 9New cases since Sept. 3Total people vaccinatedPercent of 12+ population vaccinated

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.