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Coronavirus in Florida

Memorial Day Weekend sees rise in Florida’s COVID-19 cases

State health officials Sunday reported 740 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of cases in Florida to 50,867, including 49,547 Florida residents.

On Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) also reported a rise in hospitalizations. Sunday’s report announced an additional 71 hospitalizations, raising the total amount to 9,381 in the state.

Moreover, 4 fatalities were confirmed Sunday totaling 80 non-residents. Since the pandemic’s onset, 2,316 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus in Florida including 2,236 Florida residents.

In the last 24 hours, 151 people have tested positive in Miami-Dade County, bumping the amount of total cases to 16,845. The county’s death toll increased by 2 to 641.

The total of positive tests in Broward County increased by 48 to 6,697. The death toll, however, remained at 314.

In Palm Beach County, the total amount of cases rose by 61 to 5,201. The death toll remained at 326.

Six other counties have more than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases including Hillsborough with 1,824, Orange with 1,732, Lee with 1,648, Duval with 1,385, Collier with 1,177 and Pinellas with 1,127.

In long term care facilities in Florida, the death toll for residents 1,032.

The new totals come in wake of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s decision to lift the restriction on vacation rentals in certain counties ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

42 counties including Orange, Brevard, Hillsborough, and Volusia County were permitted to allow vacation rentals with the blessing of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

As of Sunday, only 25 counties remain under restriction and without the blessing for vacation rentals.

In another move, DeSantis announced Friday alongside Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry a decision to lift restrictions on youth activities such as team sports and summer camps.

“We trust parents to be able to make decisions,” DeSantis said during a press conference Friday in Jacksonville.

While the statewide restriction is no longer in effect, DeSantis clarified that the ultimate decision will be left in the hands of local governments.

“I’m not preempting them from being able to do anything,” DeSantis said of local regulations.

The path toward reopening has not a smooth one for for DeSantis. On Saturday, Agricultural Comissioner Nikki Fried threw stones at the Governor’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis and called into question the information Floridian’s are receiving during an interview on MSNBC.

“People can’t trust the information,” Fried said, adding that the actions of DeSantis are “right out of the Donald Trump playbook.”

Fried also pounced on the dismissal of Rebekah Jones, a former worker for the state’s COVID-19 dashboard who was allegedly fired for spotlighting her problems with the process.

“This is a pattern of deception we’ve seen from the Governor over and over again,” Fried said.

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