On Saturday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 23,903 new COVID-19 cases for Friday. That tops the previous day’s record of 22,783 new cases. Florida saw the seven-day average in new cases rise to 19,250 this Friday from 15,817 a week earlier.
The state tallied 616 deaths in one week, raising the total COVID-19 death toll to 39,695, according to weekly statistic published late Friday by the Florida Department of Health.
The overwhelming majority of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Florida are unvaccinated. Of the more than 10.5 million fully vaccinated Floridians, approximately 0.019% are in a Florida hospital with COVID-19, said Mary Mayhew, president of Florida Hospital Association.
“COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida have doubled in the last two weeks, with younger, healthier individuals getting COVID-19 and being hospitalized,” Mayhew, who called the vaccine a lifesaver, said.
Despite the surge in cases and hospitalizations, at a news conference Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated his general opposition to restrictions, lockdowns, business closures and mask mandates.
“In terms of imposing any restrictions, that’s not happening in Florida," the governor said. "It’s harmful, it’s destructive. It does not work.”
The governor also noted that Los Angeles County had a winter surge despite all its restrictions.
“We really believe that individuals know how to best assess their risks. We trust them to be able to make those decisions. We just want to make sure everybody has information,” DeSantis said.
You can find a location to be tested or vaccinated against COVID-19 at this link.