Florida reported 11,458 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, breaking the record for a single day set Thursday.
The Florida Department of Health has now reported 190,052 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,702 deaths, including 18 new deaths reported on Independence Day, according to the Orlando Sentinel. There have been 101 additional deaths of non-Florida residents.
The single-day record was last broken on Thursday, when more than 10,000 new cases were reported.
Florida is one of several states, including Texas, California, and Arizona, that have become hot spots for new infections in the U.S.
Governor Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisMiami-Dade imposes curfew before July 4 weekend United States breaks record of 55,000 new cases of coronavirus Nighttime health care: experts fear that July 4 weekend will exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus | Texas Governor Abbott to Require Masks in Most of the State | Fauci warns: ‘We are not going in the right direction’ MORE (R), however, said Sunshine State would not reverse the course of its reopening.
“We are not going back, closing things,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t think that’s really what drives it. People who go to a business are not what drives it. I think when you see the younger ones, I think a lot of this is more just social interactions, so that’s natural. “
The escalation cases have raised fears of new outbreaks over the weekend of July 4. In response to those concerns, Miami-Dade County announced that it was imposing a curfew over the holiday weekend.
The curfew, which will start every night at 10 pm and last until 6 am the next morning, will be implemented “until further notice,” said Carlos Giménez, the county mayor.
Miami-Dade County and other locations have closed their beaches for the holiday weekend amid concerns that the meetings will trigger new outbreaks of coronavirus.
However, hundreds of bathers flocked to the open beaches to celebrate Independence Day.
A small stretch of New Smyrna Beach on July 4th. The beach is up to capacity.
Positive cases of coronavirus in Florida rose today to a record 11,458. pic.twitter.com/jRYzE3VTUu
– Julia Manchester (@JuliaManch) July 4, 2020
Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist who helped draft Miami-Dade reopening rules, warned that the state is “going a million miles an hour in the wrong direction” in its handling of the pandemic.
“It is absolutely the saddest, most unnecessary situation we find ourselves in,” Marty said. “And it’s driven by behavior.”
Experts attribute the increase in cases in Florida and other states to the reopening of business too quickly after a week-long shutdown and lax follow-up on social distancing recommendations.
DeSantis initially resisted a state order to stay home early in the outbreak and was one of the last governors to implement one.
The state began reopening businesses in May, and among the first businesses to open are restaurants, gyms, bars, and large outdoor sporting events, with crowd restrictions. Coronavirus cases began to increase in early June.
DeSantis has also resisted a state mandate for people to wear masks and has argued that the state has plenty of hospital capacity available to deal with the increasing number of cases.
The governor has also tried to downplay the importance of increased infections. This week, he declined to take responsibility for Florida’s surge in cases when asked by a journalist.
“Well, do you give Florida credit for having much lower deaths per 100,000 than all the states you just praised?” He replied.