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Florida reports new daily high of 46,923 COVID cases

The highly infectious omicron variant is driving the trend nationwide.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida reported 46,923 new COVID-19 cases for Dec. 28, shattering the previous record set just days ago, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

The all-time daily high comes as Tampa Bay-area counties work to put more COVID testing sites back online amid the surge of people trying to get tested for the virus.

Tuesday's figure broke the state's second-highest pandemic caseload of 32,874 set on Christmas Eve — a 43-percent increase.

The soaring numbers come as the country is dealing with the more transmissible omicron variant. According to The Associated Press, the daily case count has now climbed to about 265,000 per day on average.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that vaccinated and boosted people shouldn't cancel this weekend's New Year's Eve plans.

But "if your plans are to go to a 40- to 50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year, I would strongly recommend that this year we not do that," he said, according to the AP.

The outlet, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, reports the number of people in the hospital for COVID is about 60,000, which is about half the figure seen in January and well before the mass availability of vaccines. But hospitalizations are believed to lag behind new cases, and experts say the next few weeks will be telling.

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