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State COVID-19 data showed 2,783 new cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, raising the overall count of diagnoses in Florida to 80,109.
The new cases mark the most ever reported in a single daily update. Saturday’s report was the first to show more than 2,000 new cases.
Tuesday’s update also reveals 55 fatalities, raising the death toll to 3,085. While the new deaths were all Florida residents, the overall count includes 92 non-residents who died in the state. And 12,489 people have been hospitalized, 474 more hospitalizations than reported Monday.
Despite the rash of new cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis has attributed the increase to rising testing availability, as now 1.5 million people have been tested. The state and public and private partners have opened testing facilities across the hardest-hit parts of the state that are available to anyone, regardless of age or symptoms, a stark change from the early days of the pandemic.
Before the uptick in new cases, the Governor and Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz have said the demand for tests is below what the state can provide. The Department of Health (DOH) is receiving more tests each day in the first half of June than it did in the final days of May, but the share of people testing positive is also going up.
The Department of Health’s latest total of confirmed cases for Monday, 2,776, moves the running five-day average to 2,135 cases per day. Epidemiologists prefer to track five-day averages because single-day numbers can be anomalies.
For June 7, the five-day average was 1,030 cases per day. And on May 31, the week before, the five-day average was 834.
Local officials are reacting to the possible second wave. Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings and other officials expressed alarm Monday about the rising numbers of Orange County’s new COVID-19 cases. The Mayor suggested sheltering in place may be necessary again if the trends don’t change.
Dr. Raul Pino, Orange County’s health officer with the DOH, warned that the county’s positive-test rate has been climbing steadily in June. He said an increase in testing is certainly increasing the number of positive cases being found, but it certainly does not explain the increasing positive-test rate.
DeSantis has also said the increase in cases hasn’t resulted in more hospitalizations, with plenty of buffer in intensive care units across the state. But Palm Beach County’s health director, Dr. Alina Alonso, told the county commission Tuesday that new cases, the positivity rate and COVID-19-related ICU admissions are increasing.
Across the state, 1,424 of 6,019 — or 24% — of adult ICU beds are available.
The increases also come as Florida further reopens a variety of businesses following a month-long statewide stay-at-home order for most of April.
Most recently, DeSantis announced Florida’s Phase Two reopening as of June 5. That included allowing 100% capacity at retailers and mass gatherings of 50 or less. It also allowed the reopening of bars and movie theaters, but some chains like AMC are still not opening locations.
Contact tracing is leading health officials to track many of the cases back to bars and restaurants, Demings and Pino said.
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, which has not entered Phase Two with the rest of the state, are still the main hot spots for the virus.
DOH shows 22,741 cases for Miami-Dade County, 544 more than on Monday. Tuesday’s update also shows 9,498 cases in Broward County, an increase of 412, and 9,262 in Palm Beach County, an increase of 247.
After recently becoming the fourth county to cross 3,000 cases, Hillsborough County became the next to cross 4,000 cases, now with 4,029. Orange County has the fifth-most cases, with 3,437.