- Florida reported a record number of new coronavirus cases on Friday: nearly 9,000.
- It was the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 infections reported by any US state since April 15.
- It also broke the single-day record of 5,511 cases that Florida reported Wednesday.
- Coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in at least 25 other states, particularly Arizona and Texas. Experts say the increase is due to reopening, not increased testing.
- Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
Florida reported a record number of new coronavirus cases on Friday: In the past 24 hours, 8,942 new infections were confirmed, representing a nearly 8% increase in the state’s total number of cases.
It was the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases any state had seen since April 15, when New York reported 11,571 cases.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced in a tweet on Friday that alcohol consumption in state bars was immediately suspended.
The number of new cases Florida reported on Friday broke the record of 5,511 cases reported on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total cases to 122,960.
The increase in status is further proof that the United States coronavirus outbreak is once again out of control. Nationwide, the United States reported a record 39,327 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, beating the single-day record of 38,115 infections set just a day earlier.
An exponentially growing outbreak
Florida’s total cases have more than doubled since June 1, when the state had 56,830 infections.
At the beginning of the month, the number of new daily cases in the state was 726. It jumped to 1,355 cases on June 11, then to 2,682 cases on June 18, increases indicating that the Florida outbreak is growing exponentially.
Florida and other states experiencing sudden increases, such as Arizona and Texas, have recently increased testing, which may partly explain why their cases increased. But these states also reported increases in the proportion of coronavirus tests that tested positive, indicating that increased testing is not the main reason for the increase in numbers.
On Thursday, 13% of all coronavirus tests in Florida tested positive; Tuesday was almost 16%.
A Miami-Dade County report said the proportion of positive COVID-19 tests increased by 0.8% on average each day from June 10 to 24. In early June, the proportion of positive tests in the county was approximately 5%; That has increased to around 15% in the past two weeks.
Furthermore, hospitalization rates are also increasing. State health officials said Friday that Florida’s total hospitalizations increased 1.5% in the past 24 hours.
The number of people in Miami-Dade County needing hospitalization, intensive care, and ventilators has increased by 33%, 47%, and 26% since June 15.
This increase may be due to simplified blocking restrictions
The cases of COVID-19 reported today are generally a reflection of the spread of the virus two weeks ago, as the incubation period for the coronavirus is one to 14 days and it may take a few days for test results to be reported.
More than 50% of US states have reported increases in their coronavirus case counts since June 18, suggesting that actions by residents in early June contributed to the increase.
Some public health experts have attributed the increasing outbreaks to relaxed blocking restrictions.
“The reason we’re seeing an increase in cases here in Houston is because of the decisions our governor has made to open up the economy quite aggressively,” said Dr. Cedric Dark, an emergency physician in Houston, earlier, to Business Insider.
Florida, which is in its second phase of reopening, had been allowing restaurants, bars, cinemas, concert halls and other entertainment businesses to open to 50% of capacity in most counties.
“There are more and more people,” Mary Jo Trepka, an epidemiologist at Florida International University, told CNN. “That has probably contributed to it.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week he was more focused on testing than closing to control the state outbreak.
“Florida is actively seeking individuals with a positive COVID to provide immediate treatment and follow-up contacts to help prevent the broader spread of the disease,” the DeSantis office said in a statement to Business Insider on June 16. “This aggressive testing strategy is proving successful and will continue.”
DeSantis told reporters on Thursday that the state was pausing its reopening plan.
“We are where we are,” said DeSantis. “I didn’t say we were going to go to the next phase.”
Aria Bendix contributed reporting to this story.