Florida confirms over 500 new cases of coronavirus in the state

More than 500 new cases of the coronavirus have been detected in Florida since Friday evening, and a total of 54 people have now died from the disease in the state, according to updated data from the Florida Department of Health.

As of Saturday afternoon, Florida has more 3,700 confirmed cases of the virus, the fifth-highest number of cases in a state in the country. 

The known cases were concentrated in Miami-Dade County and neighboring Broward County, which collectively have more than 1,500 cases. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The rising number of cases comes after images of crowds of people in South Florida on the state's beaches and in bars surfaced while state lawmakers across the country urged people to adhere to social distancing practices. 

On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisCharlotte newspaper's editorial board urges governor to 'call Trump's bluff' on GOP convention The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama MORE (R) filed a major disaster declaration in the state. 

On Wednesday, 10 Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation sent a letter to DeSantis, calling on him to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order.

The members cited the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s large elderly population and the risk of overwhelming the “already-strained health care system” as reasons to implement the order. 

During an appearance on MSNBC on Monday, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) said that “conducting patchwork solutions” wouldn’t help slow the spread of the virus, arguing the state “needs to start being proactive, not reactive.” 

"We have already seen a huge impact on our economy, but we're not going to be able to start our road to an economic recovery if we can't control the spread of the virus,” she said.