Following a week of jumps in new coronavirus cases, Florida on Wednesday added another 2,610 new cases.
That number is slightly lower than the single-day record set Tuesday, on which the state reported 2,783 new cases, the highest number since tracking began.
The spike in newly-confirmed cases comes as state leaders point to an increase in overall coronavirus testing. More than 1.48 million people have been tested in the state so far. The latest "percent positive" rate reported by the state was 4.24 percent.
Tuesday's number was the fourth time in a week that the state broke its own record for the highest number of new cases in a single day.
Wednesday's number marks the seventh day in a row of new cases topping more than 1,600 and the second day in a row of new cases being more than 2,000.
According to the Florida Department of Health, there have now been 82,719 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state and 3,018 people have died.
Here's the breakdown of new coronavirus cases in Florida since June 11:
- Thursday: 1,698
- Friday: 1,902
- Saturday: 2,581
- Sunday: 2,106
- Monday: 1,758
- Tuesday: 2,783
- Wednesday: 2,610
In the last eight days, there have been 16,719 new cases of coronavirus reported by the state.
Here's a breakdown of total cases for Tampa Bay area counties during the pandemic:
- Hernando: 147 (up 1 from Tuesday)
- Hillsborough: 4,273 (up 244 from Tuesday)
- Manatee: 1,523 (up 40 from Tuesday)
- Pasco: 582 (up 22 from Tuesday)
- Pinellas: 2,684 (up 161 from Tuesday)
- Polk: 1,634 (up 68 from Tuesday)
- Sarasota: 803 (up 14 from Tuesday)
During a Tuesday news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis largely attributed the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases to even more testing being done, especially in high-risk areas like long-term care facilities, prisons and farming communities. DeSantis said testing within the most vulnerable and high-risk populations has shown the highest positivity rates for the virus and the most cases.
"We're going to continue doing a lot of testing, I think we, probably -- we're over 30,000 test results a day now (and) we may end up seeing even more of an increase," DeSantis said.
State data shows the number of people tested per day during the last two weeks, with 39,340 people tested on June 15. The highest number of tests so far came on June 6 with more than 57,000 tests.
Data from the Department of Health shows the median age of COVID-19 positive individuals dropped from about 65.5 years in early March to 37 years this past week. Talking about this data, DeSantis said the younger age group has been more apt to better handle the virus, which leads to a lower hospitalization rate.
Although masks continue to be recommended by health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DeSantis said there is no requirement to wear them.
The governor said there are currently no modifications to the state's reopening plan, which remains in Phase Two. This phase, which has been in effect for a couple of weeks, allows bars and pubs to reopen at 50-percent capacity inside and full capacity outside. Retail locations can operate at 75-percent capacity.
"We're not shutting down, we're going to go forward, we're going to continue to protect the most vulnerable," the governor said.
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