Florida reports highest daily COVID-19 cases since January

Florida on Wednesday reported 12,647 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily number of cases since late January, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The last time that Florida topped this number was Jan. 30, when it logged 14,654 cases. The U.S. registered 55,132 cases on Wednesday, meaning that Florida’s daily count made up about 23 percent of new cases reported by the CDC for that day.

It’s a troubling trend for the Sunshine State as it has started to see a recent surge in COVID-19 cases within the last few weeks. According to data from Florida's Department of Health, the state reported 45,603 new cases between July 9 and July 15. The state registered 23,562 new cases the week prior.

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Last week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Rocky US alliances as Biden heads to UN assembly Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior —Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine safe for young kids The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pfizer deems COVID vaccine 'safe' for children 5+ MORE said that Florida made up roughly 20 percent of new cases in the country.

"Just four states accounted for more than 40 percent of all cases in the past week, with 1 in 5 of all cases occurring in Florida alone," Zients said during a briefing last Friday.

Despite this, Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job Ben & Jerry's unveils new flavor in support of Cori Bush's public safety reform bill MORE (R) downplayed the state’s recent spike in cases and called it “a seasonal virus” on Monday. He predicted cases would be down the following month. 

Still, he has defended the efficacy of the vaccines and made an appeal to residents to get the shot if they hadn’t already.

“If you look at the people that are being admitted to hospitals ... over 95% of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality.” 

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The state reported that 59 percent of people in Florida ages 12 and older have been vaccinated as of data published last Friday, though vaccinations have started to drop off in recent weeks.

Vincent Hsu, an epidemiologist, told Tampa station WFLA last week that the delta variant made up the majority of new cases in the state. 

Those comments were echoed on Tuesday by CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFDA panel endorses COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans, rejects widespread use Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows MORE, who said the delta variant of the coronavirus was responsible for 83 percent of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States.