Florida reported its largest daily increase in Covid-19 cases on Wednesday and new hospitalizations increased more in a month.
Record numbers reflect the inexorable spread of the virus in states that were lax in applying locks and have rushed to restart their economies. With all states reopened to some degree, Arizona, California, and Texas have set records for new cases this week.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he does not plan to reverse the reopening of the state’s economy, arguing in part that the virus is affecting younger Floridians and has muted clinical consequences. It has largely deferred to local governments on issues including mask rules, saying the pandemic is not uniform, and many cities have begun to implement stricter requirements on facial coatings.
On Wednesday, the state reported 109,014 cases of Covid-19, an increase of 5.3%, or 5,508, from the previous day, compared to an average increase of 3.7% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,281, an increase of 1.4%. The rate of people testing positive for the first time increased to 15.9% on Tuesday, from 10.8% a day earlier.
Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 256, or 1.9%, to 13,574, the largest increase in one day in a month.
On a continuous seven-day basis, new cases totaled 26,295, about six times the rate when the state began reopening on May 4.
(Updates with positivity rate in the fourth paragraph)