Florida added 22,783 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day count since the pandemic began, according to figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cases raised Florida's 7-day average of new cases to an all-time high of 18,933.
The Florida Department of Health's COVID-19 Weekly Situation report released Friday showed there were 134,506 new cases for the week ending on Thursday. It's the seventh-straight week where the case total in the state has increased.
Florida is also leading the nation in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, rising from 12,516 on Thursday to 12,864, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Hospital data shows 2,680 of those patients required intensive care, using about 42% of the ICU beds in the state, compared to less than 20% they were using two weeks ago.
Thursday’s death tally of 199 in Florida raised the average deaths per day to 90 over the past week, twice what it was two weeks ago, according to the CDC. The state's death toll rose to 39,695 in the state's report.
The state report showed about 63% of eligible Floridians have been vaccinated, with just over 12.1 million cumulative vaccinations.
The state's new case positivity rate was 18.9% in Friday's report, up from 18.1% in last week's report. Miami-Dade's positivity rate was the lowest in the state at 12.7%, while Broward's was 15.9%.
Despite the surge in cases and hospitalizations, at a news conference Friday Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated his general opposition to restrictions, such as lockdowns, business closures and mask mandates.
“In terms of imposing any restrictions. That’s not happening in Florida. It’s harmful, it’s destructive. It does not work,” he said, noting 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.”
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