Florida sets another single-day coronavirus case record with nearly 4,000 infections

Hillsborough and Pinellas County both saw peak highs for reported cases, and the area reported eight additional deaths.
Coronavirus cases in Florida have continued to break records day-by-day as testing has expanded. (Foto AP/Dolores Ochoa)
Coronavirus cases in Florida have continued to break records day-by-day as testing has expanded. (Foto AP/Dolores Ochoa) [ DOLORES OCHOA | AP ]
Published June 19, 2020|Updated June 19, 2020

Florida again broke its record for single-day coronavirus cases, adding 3,822 infections Friday and bringing the state total to 89,748 cases.

The state also recorded 43 new deaths and 200 additional hospitalizations. In Tampa Bay, Hillsborough and Pinellas County set new records for single-day recorded cases, adding 372 cases and 266 cases respectively.

In the past week, Florida has repeatedly hit new highs for single-day coronavirus cases. Friday was the 17th consecutive day with caseloads more than 1,000.

About a quarter of Florida’s total coronavirus cases have been recorded since June 11, when the state had the highest single-day number of new cases since April.

What’s the picture in Florida?

Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the increasing number of coronavirus cases is because of expanded testing, especially to asymptomatic people and targeted populations who come in close contact with each other — particularly farm workers.

About 1.5 million people have been tested statewide. DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferré tweeted that the focus shouldn’t be on the rising cases, but rather on Florida’s preparedness and that the median age of people testing positive is younger.

More than 75 percent of Florida’s adult ICU hospital beds are occupied, according to a WUSF analysis. More than 13,000 Florida residents and non-residents have been hospitalized because of the virus, and 3,197 people have died. Just over half of those deaths are tied to long-term care facilities, which will begin testing all staff every two weeks.

The number of average deaths per week has held steady with numbers from the start of the month. For the week ending June 18, there were 31 average deaths.

What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?

The Tampa Bay area added 864 cases Friday, 23 percent of the state’s daily total. There were also eight additional deaths, four in Hillsborough, two in Manatee and one each in Pinellas and Polk.

The new deaths include an 89-year-old Hillsborough woman, a 70-year-old Hillsborough man, a 74-year-old Hillsborough woman, an 80-year-old Hillsborough man, a 55-year-old Manatee man, a 68-year-old Manatee man, a 91-year-old Pinellas woman and a 73-year-old Polk man.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 4,982 cases and 112 deaths; Pinellas has 3,153 cases and 114 deaths; Polk has 1,856 cases and 77 deaths; Manatee has 1,649 cases and 126 deaths; Pasco has 686 cases and 17 deaths; Citrus has 168 cases and 12 deaths; and Hernando has 158 cases and six deaths.

How do other countries differ?

In countries that have mostly tamped down coronavirus, the U.S. numbers raise alarm.

“It really does feel like the U.S. has given up,” said Siouxsie Wiles, an infectious-diseases specialist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand in an interview with the Washington Post.

According to the report, in countries where cases have come back, drastic measures have been taken to control the virus. In China, 150 new cases in Beijing led to sealed-off neighborhoods, mass testing and travel restrictions.

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Wiles, the specialist from New Zealand, said the U.S. rollout has affected how she sees some of our top-regarded institutions.

“I’ve always thought of the CDC as a reliable and trusted source of information,” she told the Post. “Not anymore.”

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