State Watch

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.

Last week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients 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 DeSantis (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.” 

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 Walensky, who said the delta variant of the coronavirus was responsible for 83 percent of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States. 

Tags COVID-19 COVID-19 pandemic in Florida Florida Jeff Zients Rochelle Walensky Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis vaccinations
See all Hill.TV See all Video