With an additional 822 people confirmed with the novel coronavirus in Florida Sunday, the state’s COVID-19 caseload has topped 26,000 individuals. The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 26 fatalities, a smaller increase than in some recent days, which raised the death toll to 774.
Although some models suggest Florida could have already passed the virus’ peak and state officials have picked up a more optimistic tone, new cases will likely continue for months to come. And until the discovery of a vaccine, social distancing will likely be the new normal.
Sunday’s reports also showed 68 new hospitalizations, raising the count of all Floridians hospitalized to 3,813.
Miami-Dade County, which became the first county with more than 200 fatalities Sunday morning, reached 207 total by the evening. Palm Beach and Broward counties, the two other counties in the South Florida hot spot, have had 121 and 115 deaths, respectively.
The three counties also make up three in five of the state’s 26,314 total cases. In Miami-Dade, 9,354 have tested positive, up 309 from the day before. In Broward, 3,971 now test positive, up 133, and Palm Beach has had 2,170 confirmed cases, up 32.
Orange County, with 1,198 confirmed cases and 23 deaths, is the only other county with more than 1,000 fatalities. But Hillsborough County, now with 960 cases, could be the next with that dubious distinction.
On CBS’s Face the Nation, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx gave a nod to DOH’s interactive website, which breaks down instances of reported cases by ZIP code. But local leaders have criticized the department’s transparency, as have some news organizations.
He also ordered schools to stay closed through the remainder of the academic year after he and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran held out hope to send students back for the final two weeks before summer.