The increase in Florida comes as infections rise alarmingly in other parts of the country, particularly the Midwest and other areas that were relatively untouched during the previous attack of the COVID epidemic -19.
There was no immediate explanation for the rising numbers. This is the third time in the past seven days that the number of new cases has greatly exceeded 3,000, according to statistical reports from the state health.
Three weeks ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida as part of his efforts to resuscitate the economy.
The rise comes as Florida prepares to open its polling stations Monday for early voting ahead of the November 3 presidential election.
Saturday’s new report pushed the seven-day average to more than 3,300 cases, although the attempt to collect statistical trends has been hampered recently due to reporting anomalies.
On two occasions in the past few months, daytime totals have exceeded Saturday’s surge, but were statistical outliers. In one case, the reported data included numbers that should have been before – as was also the case in early September when a testing company dumped data as far back as April.
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These recent reporting anomalies aside, Saturday’s number was the highest since August 22, when the state reported more than 4,300 new cases.
The latest figures also show a slight increase in the infection rate – to 5.2% – but the Florida Department of Health noted that this was the 65th day in a row that the positivity rate remained below 10%.
In its report on Saturday, the department said more than 2,000 people were in hospital mainly due to COVID-19 infections.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)