What there is to know
- Florida reported 15,300 new cases on Sunday, the highest number on record.
- Statewide, over 2,576,813 people were tested for COVID-19, with an overall positive percentage of 11.25% for new cases.
- The state has seen a sharp increase in cases over the past week, with nearly 69,700 confirmed in the past seven days.
Continuing a weeklong trend of staggering numbers, the coronavirus figures released Sunday by the Florida Department of Health set a new record.
Florida reported 15,300 new cases on Sunday, the highest number ever, bringing its total to 269,811. 45 other reported deaths have been confirmed by the state since Saturday for a total of 4,242 since the start of the pandemic .
The state has seen a sharp increase in cases over the past week, with nearly 69,700 confirmed in the past seven days.
The number of Florida residents who were hospitalized has also increased at a record rate. That number reached a total of 18,271 people on Sunday.
Statewide, over 2,576,813 people have been tested for COVID-19. In South Florida, the total number of cases in Miami-Dade County rose to 64,444 on Sunday, with 1,139 deaths.
Broward County has recorded a total of 30,025 confirmed cases, a one-day increase of more than 1,772, as well as 464 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Palm Beach County had a total of 21,018 cases and 606 deaths while Monroe County had a total of 572 cases and six deaths reported on Sunday.
Health experts fear that people will gather in the crowd and have expressed concern about the appointment of President Donald Trump to the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville in August.
The recent increase is near home for a grieving Lauderhill family after losing two children to the new coronavirus a few days apart.
In the space of 11 days, Byron and Mychaela Francis battled the virus before tragically dying.
“It is really difficult to plan two funerals,” said Montete Hicks, mother of Byron and Mychaela.
June 27eHicks says his 20-year-old son Byron was having trouble breathing. Byron was rushed to hospital where he later died. A week later, while mourning the loss of Byron, Mychaela went to the hospital after starting to have headaches and a fever. Mychaela needed oxygen, her blood pressure dropped, and she eventually lost a kidney.
“Over the days, when she was [at the hospital], everything went to collapse in his body, “said Hicks.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended his administration’s resistance against massive closures and setbacks across the state, saying that when he made the decision to reopen much of the state in May, the COVID-19 infections “had a very, very low prevalence”, especially in northern parts of the state.
“There was no reason not to go ahead,” the Republican governor said Friday, adding that state hospitals have between 10,000 and 13,000 beds available, while some hospitals are nearly full capacity. “We have a situation where you have a lot of beds available. No major system, no one we’ve seen so far, has even reached the peak level, ”he said.
On Friday, a group of doctors gathered outside his mansion in Tallahassee to urge him to issue a prescription mandating the use of face masks across the state.
DeSantis has so far resisted these calls, arguing that local governments must decide for themselves whether tighter levels of protection are necessary. Most of Florida’s most populous municipalities have already done so. Those on the front lines of health care see things differently.
“People don’t want to wear their masks, and as a healthcare professional, it’s frustrating,” said Esther Segura, nurse at Jackson South Medical Center in Miami. “Spend a day in the shoes of an intensive care nurse. . and see what they see and then you would have a different perspective. “
A milestone that some see as a breakthrough came on Saturday with the reopening of “The Most Magical Place in the World” after almost four months with new rules in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom of Walt Disney World will reopen on Saturday, while Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will follow four days later.
All Orlando Disney parks closed in mid-March to stop the spread of the virus. Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando closed at around the same time, but reopened several weeks ago after instituting similar rules to protect employees and customers from the virus.
The new Disney rules include mandatory masks and social distance. Visitors will need reservations to enter a park, and they will not be allowed to jump between parks. Visitors and employees will receive temperature controls upon entry. The fireworks and parades were suspended to avoid gathering too many people.
Park lovers say that almost everyone in sight wore masks on Saturday morning. Capacity is far from where it is under normal circumstances, they said.
“I’m here during the spring break where you can barely walk. The walkways are very wide open, “said Lori Lovell, who came from Evansville, Indiana with friends for the reopening.
Some attractions and restaurants are not yet open. Another change: visitors cannot kiss and greet the costumed Disney characters. Instead, the characters are in “cavalcades” or processions, as they cross the park.
Disney has opened its parks worldwide in the past two months. In May, the company opened Disney Springs, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Lake Buena Vista.