Arizona, Mississippi, Florida see record one-day coronavirus deaths

Arizona, Mississippi and Florida each recorded a record one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, as the south and western regions of the U.S. continue to face a surge in coronavirus cases.

The Florida Department of Health reported 9,943 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and 253 deaths, its third-straight single-day record total of COVID-19 fatalities. The state has now reported a total of 461,379 cases and 6,586 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Florida ranks as the second-highest infection total in the nation, just behind California's 473,785. It is the largest state in the country without some form of a statewide mask mandate.

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On Thursday the Mississippi State Department of Health added 48 deaths and 1,775 cases to their count, with both figures marking a single-day record. The state has the highest positivity rate in the country at about 26 percent of tests taken returning positive, according to Mississippi Today.

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 172 deaths to their count Thursday, a jump from its previous high of 147 single-day deaths announced July 18. The state also reported over 2,500 new cases on Thursday, bringing their total count to 170,798. 

Both Florida and Mississippi both trail Arizona in its death rate, which is 50 per 100,000 people.

On Thursday, Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, recommended that governors in the states experiencing upticks in COVID-19 cases mandate wearing masks in public. GOP leaders, including the Republican governors of the aforementioned states, have been less apt to encourage wearing masks in public, let alone enforcing mandates.

“We believe if the governors and mayors of every locality right now would mandate masks for their communities and every American would wear a mask and socially distance and not congregate in large settings where you can't socially distance or wear a mask, that we can really get control of this virus and drive down cases, as Arizona has done,” Birx said on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning.