Story at a glance
- More than 3,000 coronavirus patients were admitted to Florida hospitals during the past week.
- Florida is one of 16 states that has not made masks mandatory while in public.
New coronavirus cases in Florida are slowly decreasing, but hospitalizations in the state continue rising.
Florida ended last week with a record number of weekly reported hospitalizations due to coronavirus patients. The Orlando Sentinel reports that from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, the Sunshine State reported 3,355 coronavirus admissions to hospitals, a record for the total seen in one week.
Over the course of Tuesday to Saturday, Florida health officials saw more than 500 new hospitalizations per day. Some 621 were recorded on Wednesday, a single-day high for the state.
During the course of the pandemic, 30,505 Floridians have been hospitalized due to a coronavirus infection, per state health department data. Per data released on Sunday, the Florida Department of Health reported 6,229 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the state having seen 536,961 cumulative cases.
Florida has been the epicenter in a wave of coronavirus infections that overtook the Sun Belt of the U.S. and spread at a high rate, due in part to the lax public health mandates Florida leadership and residents adopted. This resulted in a high level of transmission, placing Florida’s Miami-Dade County second in the U.S. for the highest number of coronavirus cases.
On Wednesday, the state became the second in the U.S. to post 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, following California.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of Florida has seen his approval rating fall during this time. While the vast majority of other states have issued mandatory face mask orders, DeSantis still has yet to do so and is a major proponent of reopening schools for in-person learning despite fears of outbreaks.