Florida announces record number of new Covid-19 cases

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On Sunday, Florida became the first US state to report an increase of more than 15,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day, as pressure increased on officials to demand the wearing of masks.

An additional 15,300 people have tested positive for the disease in the past 24 hours, the state health department said, compared to 10,360 the day before.

This is a larger increase than the 11,694 reported by California on July 8, which, according to Governor Gavin Newsom, had been reinforced by a backlog of tests in Los Angeles County, hit hard. That, in turn, had dethroned the longtime record holder New York and its peak of 11,571 cases on April 15.

Florida’s record increase has raised its seven-day average of new confirmed cases to a rate of nearly 10,000 a day, a record for a US state and overshadowing the peak rate of 9,664 New York residents deep within its crisis in mid-April, according to calculations by the Financial Times using data from the Covid Tracking Project.

The influx of cases in Covid-19 forces the worst-affected states to impose new restrictions, and comes after President Donald Trump was spotted wearing a mask in public for the first time.

Trump wore a face mask on Saturday during a visit to Walter Reed Hospital after making fun of his presidential Democratic rival Joe Biden for covering his face.

On the same day, the Democratic Governor of Louisiana announced that bars would be closed and that masks would be required for anyone over the age of eight in the state who was within six feet of a family member. The Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi have already made it mandatory to wear the mask in their states.

In the past week, Texas has seen a 36% increase in the average number of new coronavirus cases over seven days, with an increase of about 8,200 on Sunday, bringing its average daily rate to over 9,000 for the first time. , according to FT calculations.

On Sunday, an additional 61,338 people in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project, compared to about 63,000 on Saturday and Friday, a record increase of nearly 67,000. Florida day in cases has been offset by other hot spots, such as California, Texas and Arizona, which report increases below recent record levels.

Daily national increase in deaths fell for the fifth consecutive day to 476, against a peak of 922 weeks on July 7, but is more than double the three-month low of 209 new deaths reported there one week.

“It is really essential to wear a mask in public,” Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC News on Sunday.

“To reverse this problem, we need about 90% of the people in these [infected] places to wear masks when in public. ”

In Florida, where Disney World reopened some of its theme parks over the weekend, the spike in new cases threatens to overwhelm the hospital system in parts of the state.

Carlos Gimenez, the Republican mayor of Miami-Dade County in Florida, told CNN on Sunday that it will not be long before his county reaches bed capacity in the intensive care unit. An infectious disease expert from Louisiana said on Saturday that state hospitals were now overwhelmed. Arizona also faces a spike in cases, as does Georgia.

There are signs that the rise of sun belts is changing the landscape for the November presidential election. Many states fighting an increase in the number of cases are campaign battlefields.

A CBS-YouGov poll released Sunday found that Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump by six points in Florida, while the two candidates are tied in Arizona. The President is taking Mr. Biden from one point to Texas. Trump comfortably defeated Hillary Clinton in the three states in 2016. In the three states, a majority of voters said they thought their states had reopened too soon, CBS reported.

The influx of cases has presented a conundrum for the Trump administration, which is trying to convince states to reopen schools after the summer vacation, while relaunching the president’s faltering re-election campaign.

In recent days, Trump has repeatedly clashed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over his guidelines for reopening schools, saying they are too difficult to follow.

In interviews Sunday, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary, said schools should plan to reopen in the fall, while following CDC guidelines to the best of their ability.

“The CDC guidelines are just that, supposed to be flexible and meant to be applied depending on the situation,” she told CNN.

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