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Florida accounts for one in five new COVID cases, White House says

Health officials also said states with the highest case rates are also seeing vaccinations go up.
Credit: AP Photo/Marta Lavandier
Mary Quevtier gets a Covid-19 test Thursday, July 15, 2021, in Miami. Florida's COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are again increasing, ending months of steady decline that began widespread vaccinations became available and creating a trend that has epidemiologists worried as the more infectious Delta variant spreads.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Across the country, there's been a surge in new COVID-19 cases brought on by the delta variant, and White House officials say just three states are doing the heavy lifting.

During a coronavirus task force briefing, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Florida, Texas and Missouri accounted for 40 percent of all cases nationwide this week. Florida in particular has made up one in five new cases for the past two weeks.

The majority of cases are coming from areas that have low vaccination rates, according to the White House.

"The case increases are concentrated in communities with low vaccination rates," Zients said. "In fact, the counties with the highest case rates have significantly lower vaccination rates than counties with lower case rates."

However, he also added that states with the highest case rates are also seeing vaccinations go up, including Florida. 

"In the past week, the five states with the highest case rates — Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, [Missouri, and] Nevada — had a higher rate of people getting newly vaccinated compared to the national average," Zients said.  

According to the Florida Department of Health, July 9-15 saw 45,604 new cases and a percent positivity of 11.5 percent — a high not seen for months.

The previous week's percent positivity was 7.8 percent, with 23,562 cases reported.

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