Florida breaks daily national record for new COVID-19 cases with 15,300

Miami, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- Florida broke the national COVID-19 daily tally record on Sunday with 15,300 new confirmed cases, according to the US Department of Health, which brings the total number to 269,811 infections and 4,242 deaths from the disease, 95 in the last 24 hours.

New York previously held the record for most daily cases reported by a state since the pandemic began, with 12,274 on Apr. 4.

Florida’s record of cases within 24 hours previously stood at 11,458 on July 4, and the day with the most deaths was last Thursday, with 120.

Considered the fourth highest US state for infections of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the US, Florida currently has 18,271 people admitted to medical centers.

According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, currently 23.59 percent of hospital beds are available for general admissions, and 18.81 percent in the intensive care unit.

With 2.7 million of the state’s 21 million residents, Miami-Dade County continues to be the epicenter of the state’s epidemic and reported Sunday 64,444 cases and 1,139 deaths since counting began on Mar. 1.

In the past 24 hours, Miami-Dade has accounted for 3,576 cases.

The county has been forced to backtrack on some aspects of its economic reopening by allowing restaurants to serve food only in outdoor areas, sparking protests from owners and employees.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez urged the population in the last hours to wear face masks at all times in common areas.

“Many asked me about our latest measures to tamp down COVID-19 cases. My goal is to continue to open up the economy in a safe manner. Unfortunately, the numbers right now are not allowing us to do so,” said Giménez via Twitter.

The mayor also said Sunday to Local 10 that the face-to-face return to schools will depend on how the number of infections behaves.

“If in six weeks the numbers are the same, there will be no conditions for the children to return to school,” said Giménez in defiance of a state executive order that announced this week the return to classrooms by the end of August.

Regarding hospitals in his county, Giménez acknowledged that they will soon reach their capacity, but stated that more beds can be added, including ICU beds.

Of the 8,425 Miami-Dade general care beds, only 1,770, or 21.01 percent, are free, according to the AHCA.

Broward County, the second in the state most affected, reported Sunday 30,025 cases and 464 deaths, while the third, Palm Beach, puts the count at 21,018 infections and 606 deaths.

Monroe, the county that groups the touristic Florida Keys, has seen a significant increase in recent days and reported 572 cases and 6 deaths. The daily high so far was yesterday, when it reported 74 new cases.

On Thursday, organizers of Fantasy Fest street festival, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year in Key West, announced that the event will not be held in October for the first time in 41 years, due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Since Mar. 1, the state has conducted 2,576,813 coronavirus tests, of which 10.5 percent have tested positive.

State Governor Ron DeSantis, who this week petitioned 1,500 healthcare professionals to reinforce the federal government, has acknowledged that South Florida faces the “most significant outbreak.”

DeSantis said Saturday during a press conference at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Manatee County, that coronavirus testing has increased, especially in recent weeks.

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