Story at a glance
- Florida reported more than 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is one of two governors to have not implemented a statewide mask order.
Florida became the second state on Wednesday to surpass 500,000 confirmed coronavirus infections, following California, which currently leads the U.S. with more than 526,000 cases, the TCPalm reports.
State health data confirms that the Sunshine State records 502,739 total cases, with many of them centered in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on the Southeast coast of the state.
Along with the leading case count, 7,627 residents have died as a result of complications with the virus.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW
Wednesday morning saw an additional 5,495 newly confirmed cases in Florida, as well as an additional 225 deaths resulting from COVID-19 infections.
The state positivity rate stands at a relatively high 13.2 percent as of Aug. 5, an increase from the 11.5 percent positivity rate reported on July 26.
Those between the ages of 25 to 34 continue to report the most infections in Florida, highlighting how younger populations are driving new cases.
Despite these bleak statistics, Florida’s seven-day average is declining from its peak on July 24, with almost 15,600 cases reported. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has faced plummeting approval ratings among Florida voters. Early in the pandemic, as New York City grew to become the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., DeSantis was among the first states to begin reopening public spaces despite warnings from public health experts.
DeSantis has also garnered ire from teachers’ unions as he supports reopening schools with in-person classes for the upcoming fall school year, despite calls to implement modifications to ensure student and faculty safety in public schools.
To date, the Republican governor has yet to mandate masks in public, a move adopted by most other states, despite significant medical evidence that wearing masks slows the spread of COVID-19 transmission — given that it is primarily spread through aerosol droplets lingering in the air.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC