What to Know
- Another 5,000 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Florida Thursday
- The state now has more than 114,000 cases since the pandemic began in March
- Statewide, more than 1,721,800 people have been tested for COVID-19
More than 5,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Florida Thursday, as the state reported another 46 virus-related deaths.
The 5,004 new COVID-19 cases pushed the state's total to 114,018, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health.
Thursday's total comes a day after the state set a daily record for new cases, with 5,506. Florida had previously set the daily record of 4,049 COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
The percent positivity for the cases reported Thursday was 8.72%, well below Wednesday's rate of 15.85%.
Statewide, more than 1,721,800 people have been tested for COVID-19, with the overall percent positive around 6.6%. More than 13,700 hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been reported in Florida to-date.
Another 46 new deaths related to the virus were confirmed Thursday, bringing the state's total to 3,327. The state reported 44 new deaths Wednesday and 64 new deaths on Tuesday.
In South Florida, Miami-Dade County's case total was at 28,664, and the county's virus-related deaths were at 935 Thursday.
In Broward County, there were 12,584 COVID-19 cases reported, along with 379 virus-related deaths.
Palm Beach County had 11,840 cases and 486 deaths. Monroe County had 188 cases and 4 reported deaths.
“We are where we are,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference at a Tampa high school Thursday.
During a Wednesday news conference in South Florida, DeSantis said the state's spike in cases is being driven by outbreaks in large metropolitan areas, which is why he hasn't issued a statewide order requiring masks. The Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa areas have seen the most cases.
Still, DeSantis said, every Floridian should avoid large indoor gatherings and wear a mask when in crowded businesses or in close contact with someone outside the home.
“Doing some of these simple things will make a big difference,” DeSantis said.
Florida's rapidly escalating daily figures continue a trend that began when the state reopened its economy with some restrictions last month. In response, several counties and cities have implemented emergency orders requiring the wearing of masks in public places like stores and are cracking down on businesses that aren't enforcing social distancing rules.
Broward County, the state's second-most populous, announced Wednesday that it will shut down for 24 hours any businesses that do not enforce its rule requiring masks and social distancing and restaurants that exceed the 50% capacity restriction. They will be fined $500 and repeat violators could be fined $15,000.
Like many government leaders statewide in recent days, Broward Mayor Dale Holness said that if his county's exploding coronavirus numbers don't slow, he fears its hospitals will be overrun with patients and will be unable to treat everyone who needs assistance. He said reclosing the economy wouldn't be sustainable but people need to start wearing masks and social distance.
“We must do everything we can to protect ourselves and each other so we can stay healthy and somehow maintain the economy,” Holness said. Other local governments now requiring masks in public spaces include Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orange County, Palm Beach County and the Florida Keys.