Florida hits new daily record for COVID-19 deaths

Miami, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Florida registered 173 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, a new morbid record for the state, while daily confirmed coronavirus cases were tallied at 10,249 after three consecutive days of being below the psychological 10,000 threshold.

The three populous southeastern counties – Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach – contained 48.78 percent of the newly infected people.

Miami-Dade had 2,723 new cases, bringing its caseload since March 1 to 95,068, along with 1,354 deaths.

However, local authorities said they were optimistic and beginning to see the infection and death curves “flatten,” as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez claimed at a press conference on Thursday.

Suarez said that the number of Covid-19 deaths in Miami-Dade County, the state’s most populous county, had gone from 125 at what he called the local peak of the pandemic to 20 on Thursday.

The mayor said that the requirement that everyone wear face masks in public places “is working” and if the trend is maintained the infection rate will drop below 10 percent of the tests done within 30 days, going on to rule out the imposition of a new local quarantine.

Since it was implemented in Miami, the face mask order has resulted in a total of 115 fines ranging from $50 to $500 and the temporary closure of 15 businesses after local authorities made 431 inspections.

Other politicians, such as Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala, also warned that the public must continue to adhere to health rules and regulations because public health experts have made clear that the Covid-19 crisis could worsen in the fall.

The rise in unemployment is another of the effects of Covid-19 that is of most concern in Florida. Last week, 105,410 Floridians applied for unemployment subsidies, some 27,000 fewer than had done so the previous week.

In the last four months, 1.7 million Floridians, out of a population of 21.8 million, have benefited from the funds included in the stimulus package known as the CARES Act, which provides $600 per week to unemployed people during the pandemic.

However, the law is due to expire this Saturday.

The Senate is slated this week to negotiate the details of a new aid package called the Heroes Act, which has already been approved by the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the Miami City Hall announced the provision of more funds to mitigate the housing crisis that is in the offing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the loss of jobs.

In all, $1.3 million in state funds will be allocated to assist residents who cannot pay their mortgages or their rent because of the pandemic.

Health centers in Florida continue working without pause to avoid being overwhelmed by the inflow of Covid-19 patients, after 51 new admissions were registered and a total of 9,581 people are now hospitalized statewide with virus complications.

Currently, 84.3 percent of the intensive care unit beds in the state are occupied, meaning that there are only 974 free ICU beds available at present.

According to the latest figures from the Florida Department of Health, a 9-year-old girl died from the virus, the fifth child to die from the coronavirus in the state.

This death increases the controversy about the pending reopening of Florida schools, on which Gov. Ron DeSantis is insisting, although he emphasizes that parents must have two options and decide which one they think is the more appropriate in their own family’s case.

“I believe we owe every Florida parent a CHOICE to send your child back to school for in-person instruction, or to opt to maintain distance learning. We support you and want you to feel safe,” DeSantis said on his official Twitter account.


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