This One State Is Now Responsible for 25 Percent of the U.S.'s COVID Cases
Florida accounts for only six percent of the population, but is dominating coronavirus stats.
The current coronavirus spike that the U.S. is experiencing began in mid-June, after the lockdown efforts of states hit early brought about a slight downward trend. But over the last couple of weeks, the country has marked some grim COVID-19 milestones, including shattering the record of daily new cases that was calculated in late April. While almost every state in the country is seeing case numbers go up, one of the pandemic's epicenters is responsible for a disproportionate chunk of positive test. Nearly 25 percent of the coronavirus cases reported in the country on July 12 were reported by Florida.
Per data collected by the New York Times, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Florida has exceeded 269,800. On Sunday, the state reported 15,300 new infections—which is the highest daily total for any state since the pandemic began—accounted for over 24.9 percent of the nearly 61,400 new cases across the country. This percentage is staggering, especially because Florida's population makes up just 6.5 percent of the entire U.S. population.
Florida's numbers have grown exponentially over the past two months. Their daily numbers throughout March, April, and even May rarely topped 1,000 daily cases. Thus, 86 percent of the state's total confirmed cases are thought to be active (i.e. those currently being treated in hospitals or recovering at home). Over 4,200 deaths have been recorded so far. The spike has been concurrent with the state's reopening, which began in early May.
Still, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been hesitant to return to lockdown. Most businesses in Florida—including indoor dining establishments, salons, retail stores, churches, and, yes, Disney World—are open with moderate restrictions. On June 26, the governor did order bars to cease serving alcohol for on-site consumption. But this reversal may be too little and too late.
Per Newsweek, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration reported on July 7 that there were no ICU beds available in 56 Florida hospitals across 25 counties the previous week. Many other ICUs in the state were already at 90 percent capacity. With Florida accounting for such a staggering number of COVID cases, already overwhelmed hospitals may be unable to manage another influx of patients.
And for more on these hot spots, This Is When COVID Will Peak in the South, Former FDA Chief Warns.