Florida tops 15,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day, shatters U.S. record
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida shattered the national record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, adding more than 15,000 cases as its daily average death toll continued to also rise.
According to state statistics, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded.
California had the previous record of daily positive cases — 11,694, set on Wednesday. New York had 11,571 on April 15.
The numbers come at the end of a grim, record-breaking week as Florida reported 514 fatalities — an average of 73 per day. Three weeks ago, the state was averaging 30 deaths per day. Since the pandemic began in March, 4,346 people have died in Florida of COVID-19, the state says.
Testing has doubled over the last month, going from about 25,000 tests per day to almost 50,000, but the percentage of people testing positive has risen even more dramatically. A month ago, fewer than 5% of tests came up positive on a daily average. Over the past week, the daily average exceeded 19%.
About 10.7% of Saturday’s 143,000 tests came up positive, with an average age of 38.
Terry Shaw, AdventHealth’s president and CEO, said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation that the peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida will be “sometime in front of us in July.”
He said that the health system, which has 30 hospitals in Florida, has adequate PPE, a stockpile of ventilators and a clinical team that’s learned how to better treat the disease.
“I give you an example. Our length of stay in our ICU for COVID patients has dropped in half. The number of people coming in to our hospital with COVID that need a ventilator, we’ve also been able to cut that in half. And because of those things, our death rate has also been cut in half ” since the beginning of the pandemic, he said
On Saturday, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopened at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Guests at the park said that people were wearing masks and social distancing, and videos showed near-empty parks.
Health care workers perform a COVID-19 test Sunday in Orlando, Florida.