State health officials reported an additional 9,585 COVID-19 diagnoses Saturday morning, a new single-day record that pushes the total count of confirmed cases to 132,545.
Another 24 Florida residents died since Friday’s report, raising the death toll to 3,366. And one non-Floridian died, lifting the count of dead visitors to 99.
Friday’s report included 8,942 new cases and was the previous record for newly-reported cases.
Officials counted 149 new hospitalizations with the virus, lifting the total count of resident hospitalizations to 14,136.
According to the latest report, the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday also received results from a record 78,345 individuals, which could be revised below the previous record of 77,934 in the coming days. But unlike last time the state saw that amount of testing, it looks like a new trend rather than an outlier caused by a data dump.
On Thursday, the department received tests from 71,396 individuals, which itself followed 57,904 tested individuals on Wednesday. The percent positivity has maintained a high rate in that time as well.
The percent positivity rate for new cases Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was 8.9%, 12.9% and 12.8% respectively, all up from when the state saw about 3% of tests return positive in May.
In total, 1.8 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in Florida.
At the start of the month, the state made headlines for hitting 1,000 new cases over consecutive days. But as new cases have quadrupled in the past two weeks and Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ rhetoric has shifted, the May lull in COVID-19 is well in the past.
The latest bout has mostly affected young Floridians, the Governor says, partially why the state hasn’t seen a similar influx in hospitalizations. The median age of new cases has hovered in the early to mid 30’s in the past week, 34 on Friday.
“Not huge clinical consequences, but in terms of spread and in terms of some of the vulnerable populations eventually seeping in there, certainly a cause for concern,” he told reporters in Tallahassee Saturday.
Even as cases continued to rise, DeSantis has spent the last couple weeks saying Florida won’t be rolling back any of its reopening plans. And on Thursday, he suggested Florida would take a slower path toward reopening.
But Friday morning, Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears announced his department suspended the consumption of alcohol at bars statewide, a reversal of the state’s reopening plan. Patrons could still take their drinks to go, and Beshears’ order didn’t touch on restaurants.
“We must forcefully flatten the curve. This decision was not a knee jerk reaction, nor was it made lightly, but based on evidence and the correlation in spikes after phase 2 reopening. We will get it right, then get people back to work ASAP,” he said.
Since June 5, Florida has been in Phase Two of three, which includes allowing 100% capacity at retailers and mass gatherings of 50 or less. Bars opened under Phase Two, as did movie theaters, but some chains like AMC are still not opening locations.
New cases never fully subsided in the South Florida hot spots, but have also increased there in recent weeks. DOH reported 1,366 new cases in Miami-Dade County, where now 31,562 have tested positive.
Broward County added 726 cases to reach 14,046 and Palm Beach County has 12,928 overall, including 430 more in Saturday’s report.
Hillsborough County, quickly en route to 10,000 cases, now has 9,130 after receiving 1,112 new positives. Cases in Pinellas County are also on the rise with 5,713 total, an increase of 614.
Orange County, another resurgent county, added 989 new cases to push its total to 8,837.