No state in the nation is coming close to experiencing the explosive surge in new COVID-19 cases that Florida has been seeing the past few weeks.
In the week ending last Wednesday, Florida saw 62,382 new cases emerge, according to data compiled and presented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That weekly total, presented in a national comparison, is almost twice as many new cases as seen in Texas during the same week, almost three times as many as California, and 20 times as many as New York.
The CDC presents COVID-19 case totals a couple days earlier than the Florida Department of Health presents its weekly COVID-19 reports, so weekly numbers on the national report differ from the state’s numbers. On Friday the state report offered an even higher seven-day total: 73,199.
The federal data is useful because it includes uniform reports submitted by all 50 states, so that they might be compared.
During the same seven-day period ending July 21 when Florida posted 62,382 new cases, Texas reported 25,640 newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second-most in the country, and California, 22,406, the third-most. New York, which has both been faulted for its reporting methods and noted for having some of the strictest anti-pandemic policies, reported only 3,095 new cases, the country’s 26th-highest new caseload for the week.
Last week the number of new cases confirmed in Florida went up 59%, from the 39,349 reported for the previous week ending July 14. That total was up 109% from the 18,814 cases reported the week before that, which ended July 7. That total was up 59% from the 11,859 cases reported the week before that, which ended June 30. Each of those previous three weeks’ totals also was the highest in the country for those weeks.
By percentage increases, other states have lately begun to see faster rises than Florida’s. Michigan, Maine, Arkansas, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Louisiana all saw their new case numbers double last week. Among them, only Louisiana, with 14,042 new cases, is anywhere close to seeing Florida’s total numbers.
Florida is one of only four states that have seen weekly new case totals more than quadruple over the past three weeks, from July 1-21. Arkansas, Louisiana, and Massachusetts have seen slightly more growth in caseloads in July. But none of them has anything close to Florida’s weekly case totals.
As he has began ramping up comments on COVID-19 and vaccinations in the past week, Gov. Ron DeSantis has sought to reassure Floridians that the Sunshine State is experiencing a seasonal rise. It’s to be expected, and not unlike what is being seen in other states, particularly in the hot South, DeSantis said.
The Governor also has expressed confidence that the two most serious indexes recording COVID-19, the numbers of deaths attributed to the disease, and the numbers of new hospital admissions attributed to the disease, are not rising significantly in Florida.
He is correct. The CDC report shows there has been no significant change in the numbers of people dying of COVID-19 in Florida from week to week this summer. The CDC does not include hospital admissions in its standard report.
Still, past COVID-19 surges showed that hospital admission numbers increased a couple weeks after caseloads surged, and deaths rose a couple weeks after that.
Regardless, the CDC reported more people dying of COVID-19 in Florida than in other states all summer.
The 239 COVID-19 deaths newly reported in Florida for the week of July 15-21 was the most in the country for the week, according to the CDC report.
So was Florida’s 230 fatality total reported for the week of July 8-14, its 184 death toll for the week of July 1-7, and the state’s 208 deaths reported June 24-30.