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Florida reported a record-breaking number of daily COVID-19 cases three times during the past week, according to NBC News.
The state is reporting more daily cases than any other state and accounts for 1 in 5 new infections nationwide.
On Friday, Florida reported 23,903 daily cases, marking its highest 1-day total so far during the pandemic and the largest single-day increase the state has ever reported. The number surpassed the previous high totals of 21,683 cases on July 31 and 22,783 cases on Thursday.
"This is real. And it didn't have to be this bad," Nikki Fried, Florida's commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday.
"We need everyone to do their part — #GetVaccinatedNow & #MaskUp," she wrote. "If not for yourself, for your friends, family, and neighbors. For our kids. For our doctors & nurses. For Florida."
Florida has also reported its highest hospitalization numbers during the pandemic for 6 consecutive days, NBC News reported. On Saturday, the state had 13,747 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 2753 patients in intensive care units.
Based on the latest numbers, Florida now has the second-highest rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita, following behind Louisiana, according to CNN. Florida is reporting about 90 new cases per 100,000 people each day, as compared with about 30 new cases per 100,000 people across the US.
Florida also has the highest number of hospitalizations per capita nationwide, with 63 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, CNN reported.
Florida reported 93 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, which is more than any other state, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The state's weekly death toll — 598 deaths — accounted for 1 in 5 new COVID-19 fatalities nationwide.
Despite the high numbers, Gov. Ron DeSantis said there's not much his administration can do about the coronavirus. He called the surge in cases a "seasonal" trend.
"You have some politicians who say, 'I'm going to eliminate the virus. I will defeat it,'" he said during a news conference on Friday.
"Unfortunately, government can't just end it," he said. "These waves ebb and flow. It's not something government can control."
DeSantis has banned mask mandates in Florida, which several school districts have decided to ignore as students return to school, according to The Washington Post. During the past week, DeSantis threatened to withhold funding from districts that require masks, and the state school board extended eligibility for a voucher program to students who live in districts with a mask requirement. The board hasn't said whether vouchers apply in the opposite direction — for students who want to attend a school with a mask mandate.
"They touted this by saying that parental choice is the most important thing," Damaris Allen, a public education advocate with a child in Florida public schools, told the newspaper. She voiced concerns about the health and safety of children who will be forced to attend classes with unmasked classmates.
"But the challenge with this is that we know they are opting to choose one parent's choice over another," she said.
WebMD Health News © 2021
Cite this: Carolyn Crist. Florida Broke COVID-19 Records Several Times During Past Week - Medscape - Aug 09, 2021.