This marks the seventh consecutive day that the state confirmed more than 5,000 new cases in a day, as well as its fourth-highest single-day total since the pandemic began. Currently, the highest single-day total was reported Saturday with a record of 9,585 new cases.
Long-term care residences reporting new cases
These also include a total of 1,868 cases from long term care residents, the highest since the pandemic began. These figures, in particular, were logged from those in assisted-living centers and nursing homes – populations considered at risk for COVID-19, according to a report from the state’s health department.
The report, which was released Tuesday, breaks down location and category of the increase in new cases, as this week’s caseload was up by nearly 300 from last week’s figures. To note, around 1.3 percent of the state’s long-term care population had tested positive for COVID-19. Aside from nursing home residents, the number of COVID-19 cases among staff also increased to 3,090.
Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that younger adults – or those between 18 to 44 – were responsible for the spike in cases in the state. People from that age group have been going out and socializing more. These activities, according to DeSantis, are driving up the state’s caseload.
“You can’t control … they’re younger people. They’re going to do what they’re going to do,” he told reporters in a press conference on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease “expert,” told Congress that the next two weeks will be “critical” for new hotspots like Florida, Texas and Arizona as both federal and state governments address the surge in cases. Public health experts, in particular, are concerned that a continued uptick in cases in these states could potentially cause their healthcare systems to collapse. What’s worse, they added, is that all this could happen before fall, when the coronavirus may appear in a second wave.
Rubio urges younger people to stick to CDC guidelines
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is asking young adults to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help mitigate new infections in the state, following Tuesday’s figures.
Rubio, in a televised statement, noted that stay-at-home orders in Florida gave officials enough time to improve hospital capacity, ramp up testing and roll out a plan to move forward. He also added that while the initial stages of reopening will see a rise in new cases, state officials are now looking at a new goal. (Related: Florida man hospitalized with coronavirus days after calling pandemic a “fake crisis.”)
“We knew that the moment those lockdowns ended, and they had to end at some point, that we would see new cases. The real issue now is not simply seeing new cases. The real issue now is whether these new cases will lead to a higher death rate, and that really depends on what we do with this moment.”
The senator echoed DeSantis’s statement on how that state’s younger population is driving up infections. Currently, the median age of people testing positive for the coronavirus is around 35 years old or younger. Rubio noted that most people in this age group are known to resist guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing.
“Statistics tell us that alone is not going to lead to an increase in hospitalizations, much less deaths. But what will is if that surge in infections leads to a surge in the infections of people at higher risk, or over 65,” he added.
“That needs to be the focus of all of our work right now.”
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