TALLAHASSEE, Fla — A day after hitting a new high for new cases in a single day, Florida reported another 5,004 new positive cases of COVID-19.
The new case reports come from the Florida Department of Health, which on Wednesday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases with 5,508. That number is the highest reported in a single day since tracking began.
Thursday marks the second time new cases were reported at more than 5,000.
There have now been 114,018 positive cases of coronavirus in Florida as of June 25.
Here's a breakdown of the new coronavirus cases reported by the state for the past week:
- 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
- June 25: 5,004
As of Thursday morning, the state reported a percent positivity rate for new cases at 8.72 percent, which is a drop from Wednesday's at 15.91 percent.
Later Thursday, Gov. Ron Desantis held a news conference at a Tampa high school to announce expansion of a scholarship program for public school choice. He also took questions from reporters regarding the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic hours after Florida reported another 5,004 cases.
"If I honestly thought this would end tomorrow, I would do cartwheels," DeSantis said. "But the virus doesn't just disappear."
In response to a question about Texas pausing its reopening plan, DeSantis said "We are where we are. I didn't say we were going to the next phase." Florida is currently in Phase Two of reopening, which began on June 5.
The governor said the state needs to reduce the percent positivity rate, but also reiterated his comments about testing causing the jumps in cases.
"Some of what you're seeing...is mass testing regardless of symptoms," he said.
DeSantis said the state plans to continue expanding operations at current testing sites and create a new testing site serving Pinellas County at Tropicana Field.
Infectious disease experts say the new data coming in daily on coronavirus numbers in Florida is alarming.
"We don't want to see this. You don't want to see another giant peak. That brings us back to where we were at the start of this pandemic," Dr. Jill Roberts with the University of South Florida Public Health said.
Doctors say the virus is spreading rapidly while the median age of those getting sick continues to fall. And, experts at USF are predicting another spike in two weeks.
On Wednesday, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced the states will require visitors from states with COVID-19 hotspots to quarantine upon arrival. The advisory impacts travelers from Florida and eight other states.
As Florida continues to see jumps in new cases, some Tampa Bay area leaders have implemented or are considering mandatory face mask orders. As of Thursday, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties have enacted face mask orders following in the steps of cities like St. Petersburg and Tampa.
And, some lawmakers from Florida are calling on Gov. DeSantis to issue a statewide order requiring face masks. The call comes from 13 lawmakers and led by Representatives Donna Shalala (FL-27) and Debbie Wasserman Shultz (FL-23).
“As positive cases surge and hospitalizations increase, it is imperative that you take data-driven action to help protect Floridians, our families, and our communities from the dangers of COVID-19,” the Members wrote to DeSantis in a letter sent Tuesday.
The lawmakers said their ask falls in line with recommendations by Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, who said, "all individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible."
- Florida's COVID-19 testing slowed as cases spiked
- Who would be the first to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
- COVID-19 cases spiking disproportionately among Pinellas County's Black population
- Disneyland Resort delays reopening because of COVID-19
- Gov. DeSantis signs bill to increase teacher pay
- NY, NJ and Connecticut to require travelers from COVID-19 hotspots, including Florida, to quarantine for 14 days
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