What to Know
- Florida reported more than 9,500 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, a new daily record
- The previous daily record, set Friday, saw 8,942 new cases
- Florida now has more than 132,500 COVID-19 cases, including 38,748 in the past 7 days
Florida once again shattered its daily record for new coronavirus cases Saturday with more than 9,500 confirmed, pushing the state's total to more than 132,500 as cases continued to rise rapidly in the state.
The 9,585 new COVID-19 cases brought the state's total to 132,545, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health.
Saturday's total comes just one day after the state had set its daily record for new cases, with 8,942 on Friday.
The state has seen a huge increase in cases in the past seven days, with more than 38,748 confirmed in that span of time. That's nearly 30% of the state's total tally.
5,004 cases had been added on Thursday, 5,508 on Wednesday, 3,289 on Tuesday, 2,926 on Monday and 3,494 on Sunday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis discussed the uptick in the positivity rate at a news conference in Fort Myers Friday.
"Really nothing has changed in the past week in terms of, we had a big test dump, we've been testing, 10 to 15 percent have been testing positive for really the last week. That's a huge change from where we were at the beginning of June when we were basically 3 or 4 percent in terms of the positivity statewide," DeSantis said. "We obviously liked where we were throughout all of May and early June in terms of positivity."
Statewide, more than 1,830,790 people have been tested for COVID-19. More than 14,100 hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been reported in Florida to-date.
Another 24 new deaths related to the virus were confirmed Saturday, bringing the state's total to 3,390.
In South Florida, Miami-Dade County's case total rose to 31,526, and the county's virus-related deaths were at 947 Saturday.
In Broward County, there were 14,046 COVID-19 cases reported, along with 382 virus-related deaths.
Palm Beach County had 12,928 cases and 492 deaths. Monroe County had 204 cases and 4 reported deaths.
"Oh, it’s a stab to the heart, it’s just absolutely tragic and unnecessary and it’s completely driven by our behavior, our inability to comply with the new normal guidelines," Florida International University infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty said Friday.
On Thursday, DeSantis would not commit on when the state would begin the next phase of its reopening.
"Well, we are where we are. I mean, I'm not taking, I didn't say we're gonna go on to the next phase," DeSantis told reporters during a news conference at a Tampa high school. "You know, we've done a step by step approach. And it was an approach that's been reflective of the unique situation of each area."
DeSantis said many of the positive tests are in asymptomatic people, and the infections are being found as a result of mass testing. He added that many of the new cases are in younger, healthier people.
"At the end of the day, we're seeing really really big positive test results from our younger, less risky demographic in terms of the effects of this but a lot of asymptomatic carriers and obviously could be asymptomatic transmitters and that's I think what the concern is particularly for our vulnerable population," DeSantis said.
People can avoid spreading the virus by wearing masks, he said, along with avoiding big crowds and not being within close quarters with lots of other people indoors.
Beaches in Miami-Dade County will close over Fourth of July weekend and gatherings of 50 or more people will be banned over concerns of social distancing and the coronavirus.
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will sign an emergency order to close beaches starting Friday, July 3, and ending Tuesday, July 7, his office announced Friday.
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced Friday that it was suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide.
DeSantis briefly mentioned the DBPR's measure Friday, calling it a "major action."
He added that recent protests over the death of George Floyd brought out large crowds.
"I think people just naturally just assumed it was behind us, you know viruses don't necessarily just go away and so I think we're seeing that now," DeSantis said Friday. "We have an ability to just do some very easy things, just be very vigilant and I think it'll make a big big difference."