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Coronavirus in Florida: State reports another 5,508 new cases

The percent positivity rate for new cases skyrocketed to nearly 16 percent in the last day.

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported another 5,508 new cases of COVID-19 in the state.

That's number is now the highest single-day record for new cases in Florida since testing began. The previous record was the state's report from Saturday, June 20, with 4,049.

There have now been 109,014 positive cases of coronavirus in Florida as of June 24. 

Wednesday was the first time the state reported more than 5,000 new cases in a single day and the sixth time the number topped 3,000.

On Tuesday, the state reported 3,286 new cases of coronavirus. 

Florida passed the 100,000 cases mark on Monday by adding 2,926 new cases. On Tuesday afternoon, the number of cases dropped by three after an update from the state.

Here's a breakdown of the new coronavirus cases reported by the state since June 16:

  • June 16: 2,783
  • June 17: 2,610
  • June 18: 3,207
  • June 19: 3,822
  • June 20: 4,049
  • June 21: 3,494
  • June 22: 2,926 
  • June 23: 3,286
  • June 24: 5,508

As of Wednesday morning, the state reported the percent positivity rate for new cases at 15.91 percent. 

More than 1.6 million people in Florida have been tested so far, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

The number of people tested in Florida per day has stayed relatively constant this week. 36,339 were tested on Tuesday, which is down slightly from the more than 37,000 tested on each of the two days prior.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

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Local and state leaders, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, continue to point to increased testing as the reason behind the weeks of jumps in new cases. However, infectious disease experts say Florida still needs to continue its testing dramatically.

"Absolutely more testing. We don't want to slow down the testing at all. We want to make sure we're detecting all of the cases that are potentially out there, which includes people who may be asymptomatic but exposed," said Dr. Janice Zgibor with the University of South Florida Public Health. 

The Department of Health data shows testing has plateaued while the percentage of people testing positive has gone up. The successfully flatten the curve, epidemiologists say the state's percentage of people testing positive should stay at 5 percent.

The last time that happened was on June 14.

Doctors say at least 60,000 more tests should be done a day. Dr. Marissa Levine with USF Public Health said increased widespread testing will help identify what parts of the state are struggling to contain the virus.

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In response to recent spikes in the number of new cases, some Tampa Bay area leaders are implementing or discussing mandatory mask orders.

Hillsborough County on Monday passed an order requiring face coverings inside businesses. 

Hillsborough reported 709 new cases as of Wednesday morning, the highest yet. The previous high was 398. And, the percent positivity rate in the county is 20.4 percent.

St. Petersburg passed a similar face mask order for those in the city while inside indoor public spaces. On Tuesday, both Pasco and Pinellas counties passed mandatory face mask orders. 

While there is no statewide order on face masks, state Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees on Monday issued a public health advisory directing anyone in the state to wear face coverings in places where social distancing isn't possible.

RELATED: Florida's surgeon general says all Floridians should wear masks when social distancing isn't possible

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