Florida sets coronavirus daily case record, CDC data show

The 21,683 new cases reported Saturday represents the state’s highest one-day total since the pandemic began.
Chantel Powell gets a COVID-19 test in order to travel at a Miami-Dade testing site Monday.
Chantel Powell gets a COVID-19 test in order to travel at a Miami-Dade testing site Monday. [ MARTA LAVANDIER | AP ]
Published July 31, 2021|Updated Aug. 1, 2021

Florida has reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday.

Related: Florida adds 110,477 coronavirus cases, 409 deaths in the past week

The latest numbers were recorded on Friday and released on Saturday on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. The previous peak in Florida had been 19,334 cases reported on Jan. 7.

The Tampa Bay Times reported yesterday that the state has become the epicenter of a fourth wave of the pandemic as the infectious delta variant takes hold. But this is different than previous outbreaks.

Related: This Florida COVID surge is different. So is the state’s response.

While Florida accounts for nearly one out of every four new infections and hospitalizations in the country, according to federal data, the majority of people falling ill (and a large number of those falling seriously ill) are younger adults, particularly those who have not gotten vaccines.

Adults in their 20s to 40s account for 53 percent of infections and about 34 percent of hospitalizations, according to state data.

The state reported 409 deaths over the latest seven-day period. Some of those may have occurred a couple of weeks ago, with a lag in reporting. The death toll is less than one-third of highs from earlier this year and last summer, but an increase over more recent levels.

Related: Florida leads nation in COVID infections, hospitalizations as patients get younger

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has lately called the rise in cases a “seasonal wave” while reiterating his opposition to mask mandates and praising the effectiveness of vaccines.

Walt Disney World has now announced it will require most of its employees to be vaccinated. Publix is asking workers to start wearing masks again.

Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld on Saturday became the latest theme parks in Florida to again ask visitors to wear masks indoors, with Universal also ordering its employees to wear face coverings to protect against COVID-19.

All workers at Universal’s Florida park on Saturday started being required to wear masks while indoors as the employees returned to practicing social distancing.

“The health and safety of our guests and team members is always our top priority,” Universal said in a statement.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

VACCINES Q&A: Have coronavirus vaccine questions? We have answers, Florida.

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

A TRIBUTE TO FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter

We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every morning.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.