Florida has recorded its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day throughout the entire pandemic – as new projections show the state could become next large epicenter and risks being ‘the worst it has ever been’.
The number of new coronavirus cases surged to 3,207 on Thursday, bringing total infections across the state to nearly 86,000, according to Florida’s health department data.
The daily case count surpassed the previous record set on Monday when more than 2,700 cases were confirmed.
Florida’s daily death count increased by 43 on Thursday, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to just over 3,000.
The state’s total number of hospitalizations over the pandemic is now at 12,577.
FLORIDA CASES: The number of new coronavirus cases in Florida surged to 3,207 on Thursday, bringing total infections across the state to nearly 86,000
FLORIDA DEATHS: Florida’s daily death count increased by 43 on Thursday, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to just over 3,000
At least some of the increase reflects expanded testing especially among people who are younger and without symptoms.
While the number of deaths per day is not rising, the percentage of new positive tests is, hitting 8.8 percent on Thursday, compared to 5.5 percent the week before.
New cases across the state have been spiking ever since Memorial Day after large gatherings were held and as pandemic-related restrictions continue to ease up across the state.
The easing of restrictions has accompanied new outbreaks across Florida and has already forced some local leaders, including in Tampa and Miami, to halt reopenings.
New COVID-19 forecasts from the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has experts issuing dire warnings for Florida.
‘Florida has all the makings of the next large epicenter… the risk there is the worst it has ever been in our projections,’ the PolicyLab researchers say.
The model, which uses cellphone data to track changes in mobility to predict the trajectory of new infections over the next four weeks, is forecasting a surge in new cases in areas like Miami and Tampa.
New daily cases are projected to rise to 500 in Palm Beach and nearly 350 in Orlando by mid-July, according the model.
New COVID-19 forecasts from the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has experts issuing dire warnings for Florida. The model is forecasting a surge in new cases in areas like Miami by July 15
Cases in Hillsborough County, which covers the city of Tampa, are also expected to surge by July
New daily cases are projected to rise to 500 in Palm Beach by July 15, according to the forecast model
The warnings for Florida come as several other states this week have also seen record high number of daily infections and hospitalizations.
Texas also recorded a record high number of cases and hospitalizations on Thursday.
More than 3,100 cases and over 2,700 hospitalizations were confirmed in the latest data from the Texas health department.
Alabama, Arizona, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Carolina have all also seen surges in the last week.
Hospitalizations in Arizona have been hitting record daily highs all month.
Nevada reported its highest single-day tally of new cases on Tuesday, up from a previous high on May 23. Hospitalizations are also rising or at record highs.
In Oregon, health officials are trying to contain an outbreak of over 200 new cases in Union County linked to the Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 278 new statewide cases on Tuesday – a 51 percent increase from Monday’s case count.
Health officials in many states attribute the spike to businesses reopening and Memorial Day weekend gatherings in late May.
Across the United States, 17 states saw new cases rise last week – compared to the week prior – and 13 states reported weekly increases in deaths related to COVID-19
TEXAS CASES: Texas recorded a record high number of cases on Thursday with more than 3,100 new infections
TEXAS HOSPITALIZATIONS: Over 2,700 hospitalizations – a metric not linked to increased testing – were confirmed in the latest data from the Texas health department
TEXAS DEATHS: Texas recorded 33 new deaths on Thursday. Peak daily deaths occurred on May 15 when 58 people died from COVID-19
Many states are also bracing for a possible increase in cases stemming from tens of thousands of people protesting to end racial injustice and police brutality for the past three weeks.
Across the United States, 17 states saw new cases rise last week – compared to the week prior – and 13 states reported weekly increases in deaths related to COVID-19.
New deaths from coronavirus nearly doubled in Georgia and Missouri in the second week of June compared to the prior seven days.
New cases of COVID-19 nearly doubled in Alabama and South Carolina in the second week of June compared to the prior seven days.
Virologist Dr Joseph Fair told NBC’s Today that the surge in cases was due to states reopening too early and people relaxing social distancing measures.
‘Technically we are still in the first wave and this spike we’re seeing is really induced by ourselves – it’s induced by us opening up early and us moving on from the problem before it moved on from us,’ he said.
Addressing the comments made by various governors that increases in cases were down to more testing, Dr Fair said: ‘The analogy that more tests is going to reveal more cases – that’s true.
‘Hospitalizations indicate new cases that you wouldn’t have picked up if you didn’t have the diagnostics.
‘We’re seeing record hospitalizations in states that opened up early or have been lax in social distancing.’