Coronavirus Infections Hit Record Spike in Florida for Second Day as Death Toll Rises to 125,000

Florida had a record-high number of new coronavirus cases two days in a row this weekend as many states try to reopen public spaces and businesses. According to a report by The Daily Mail, Florida reported 9,585 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday morning, all discovered in the previous 24 hours. This broke a record for the state set only the previous day, when the state reported just under 9,000 new cases.

Florida was one of the first states trying to ease coronavirus restrictions, and the effects are beginning to show. The U.S. as a whole reportedly over 45,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and a large portion came from Florida. The state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation has now asked bars to stop serving alcohol, reversing its confident re-opening plan enacted several weeks ago. Florida reported 24 new coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday morning as well.

Florida has now seen a total of 132,545 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and at least 3,390 coronavirus-related deaths. Health experts have previously said that these estimates tend to be on the lower side, since many people do not get their cases counted if they do not get hospitalized.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has claimed that the rising case numbers are simply a consequence of increased coronavirus testing in the state, but that does not align with the data. According to a report by The Miami Herald, cases have been consistently increasing since mid-May, meaning that the rise does not correlate with testing at all.

DeSantis has declined to make face masks a requirement in public spaces, against the recommendations of public health experts. On Friday, the governor said: "We are where we are," adding that he believes the cases are less dangerous since they are spreading among younger populations.

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Still, DeSantis said that those who are worried about the coronavirus are free to wear masks, avoid big crowds and public spaces. Critics pointed out that this is not an option for many people who work in the tourism and service industry, which DeSantis and other leaders are struggling to keep afloat despite the pandemic.

Other states that have reopened public spaces are seeing similar tragic rises in new cases and death tolls. In Texas, some towns have re-instituted stay-at-home orders and curfews to curtail the growing outbreaks. Georgia, Tennessee and Utah have all reported huge spikes in infections as well. On Friday, Nevada reported double its previous record for highest number of new cases since the outbreak began.