Florida Surpasses New York in Number of Coronavirus Cases

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What to Know

  • Florida reported more than 9,300 new cases Sunday, bringing the state's total to nearly 425,000
  • The state reported 77 new virus-related resident deaths, bringing the death toll for residents to more than 5,850
  • Florida now has more reported coronavirus cases than New York

Florida has surpassed New York to become the state with the second highest number of coronavirus cases, with more than 9,000 new cases pushing Florida's case count close to 425,000 Sunday.

California currently has the most cases in the U.S. with more than 450,000, and New York has around 416,000.

9,344 new COVID cases brought the state's total to 423,855, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health. 77 additional virus-related deaths were also reported Sunday, the lowest increase in two weeks, bringing the state's resident death toll to 5,854.

Additionally, another 118 non-Florida residents have died of COVID complications in the state since the outbreak began. The 77 new resident deaths include 11 that occurred Saturday. About a third of them died one week ago or earlier, the results delayed by confirmation.

As the death toll for recent days comes into focus, this one grim statistic stands out: for the 10 days ending on July 17, 100 or more Floridians died on seven of those 10 days, by far the deadliest period for the virus in the state.

The positivity rates for all tests dropped to 14%, the third-lowest rate over the last two weeks. The rate for new cases — after retesting of people who previously tested positive are excluded — was 11%, the second-lowest rate over two weeks.

The statewide median age of coronavirus patients in Florida was 40, the health department said.

For the second week in a row, Florida reported a decline the number of people visiting emergency departments with flu- or COVID-like illnesses, decreasing from nearly 22,000 three weeks ago to less than 12,000 for the week ending Saturday.

New deaths and hospitalizations tend to be lower on weekends and Sunday was no exception, as hospitalizations of residents increased by 334, the smallest number during a week when records were posted several times.

Statewide, more than 3,391,130 people have been tested for COVID-19, and 24,060 hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been reported in Florida to-date.

In Miami-Dade County, the state's most populous and the current epicenter of the outbreak, there were 2,901 new coronavirus cases reported Sunday, pushing the county's total to 104,755 along with 1,388 virus-related deaths.

In Broward County, 1,163 new COVID-19 cases brought the county's total to 49,350, along with 605 deaths. Miami-Dade and Broward combined accounted for nearly 44% of Sunday's new cases.

Palm Beach County had 30,325 cases and 755 deaths, and Monroe County had 1,126 cases and 6 deaths.

New deaths were reported in Alachua, Broward, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia and Walton counties.

Miami-Dade Superintendent Unsure About Reopening Schools

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says he has major concerns about opening up schools to students next month due to the pandemic.

Carvalho took part in an event Saturday at the Gardens of Kendall, distributing food to families in need while answering questions about the possibility of starting the school year virtually.

“In Miami-Dade, we’re one of the hot spots. It puts us in a position of quite frankly trying to monitor the conditions, we are about a month away from the regular opening of schools - we could push back the opening a little bit,” Carvalho said. “We can bring the students in waves to not allow for any large congregation of students.

COVID-19 By The Numbers

Click here for a visual look at the virus' impact across the state.

Carvalho said community spread is so concerning that an ‘online learning only’ start could happen with in-class instruction being delayed until COVID-19 numbers get better, pointing out the revised guidelines for school reopenings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will play a role in his decision.

“While the CDC guidelines encourage for schools to reopen and for kids to return to physical schooling, it recognizes that in hotspots across the country where the level of infection is very high above 5% that you should really consult with the health department,” he said.

Hospital Employees Return to Work Before Getting COVID-19 Test Results

Dozens of cars honked their horns in protest outside the Federal Correctional Institution Saturday in Miami-Dade, as family members of inmates protested what they say are inhumane conditions at the jail and want better protection against COVID-19.

“They’re all on top of each other,” said protestor Colvy Starr. “There’s no social distancing.”

Starr says her father and uncle are both inmates, and she’s been communicating with them through email about conditions inside.

“The guards don’t have masks,” Starr said. “They both have dire health conditions, and if they do get the coronavirus, it will be very bad for them, probably death.”

Kim Wynne spoke with family members who say the conditions are 'inhumane' inside the facility since the pandemic started.

Miguel Romero, an attorney who helped organize the protest, says he gets emails from inmates and family members about the lack of precautions against the virus.

“There are a lot of people here who are infected who are not getting medical care,” Romero said.

DeSantis Joins Trump For Executive Signing of Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday joined President Donald Trump at the White House, where Trump signed three executive orders aimed at lowering the prices of prescription drugs.

One of the orders will reduce the price of insulin and the price of EpiPens. Another order will allow states, wholesalers and pharmacies to import cheaper drugs from Canada.

Florida passed a bill in 2019 to import drugs from Canada and other countries, which needed federal approval.

President Donald Trump on Friday moved on his own to allow imports of cheaper medicines, along with other limited steps that could have some election-year appeal. NBC 6's Kim Wynne reports.

The signing comes one day after Trump canceled events scheduled in Florida next month for the Republican National Convention amid the pandemic.

Trump had already moved the convention’s public events out of North Carolina because of virus concerns. But the spiking virus shifted south, too, and the planned gathering in Jacksonville increasingly appeared to be both a health and political risk.

Trump and his advisers feared that going forward with big parties and “infomercial” programming in Florida would ultimately backfire on the president.

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