State health officials now report 1,977 cases and 23 deaths related to the coronavirus after reported cases jumped Wednesday evening.
Department of Health officials confirmed 295 additional cases after the morning report added 215 cases and two deaths. The combined 510 cases is the largest one-day increase the state has seen in COVID-19 cases.
The 23rd reported death Wednesday evening was an 80-year-old Citrus County man who had traveled to Delaware and had contact with a known case.
But that comes as the state has expanded testing capabilities with more pop-up testing facilities and increased supplies.
The total count includes 110 non-Florida residents among the 1,867 residents.
Of the confirmed cases, 385 had traveled, 368 had contact with a confirmed case and 230 had both. The sources of 1,021 cases are still under investigation.
South Florida remained the biggest hotspot of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Miami-Dade County now has 491 confirmed cases while Broward County has 412. That marks a 124-count increase in Miami-Dade, 100-count increase in Broward County since Tuesday evening.
Palm Beach County now has 141 confirmed COVID-19 cases and Hillsborough County has 123.
On Monday evening, construction began on a 250-bed field hospital at the Miami-Dade Youth Fair grounds to prepare for an increase in hospitalizations. On Friday, the state opened a multi-lane drive-thru testing facility in Broward County that tested more than 700 individuals its first day.
Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Florida, allowing the state to more efficiently draw down federal resources to help combat the virus.
And Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to defend his decision to not order people shelter in place statewide.
Also Wednesday, the Department of Elder Affairs announced it is teaming up with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to delivered food to the elderly. Last week, DeSantis ordered restaurants close their dining rooms, and dining services for elders have shuttered to help prevent the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, the Governor ordered anyone who has visited New York, New Jersey or Connecticut in the last three weeks to shelter in place for 14 days and to alert anyone they’ve had contact with. That followed up on an order the day prior demanding plane travelers from those states self-isolate for 14 days or the duration of their stay.
Also Tuesday, DeSantis asked Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to to issue an advisory for people over the age of 65 or with underlying health conditions to stay at home.