Florida reported a record-breaking 15,299 coronavirus cases Sunday, marking the highest daily total that any U.S. state has recorded in the pandemic so far.
The previous record was set by California on July 7, when it reported 12,977 cases, according to coronavirus data from Johns Hopkins. New York reached similar levels a few months ago when it reported 11,434 new cases on April 15, per Johns Hopkins.
Florida has so far reported just under 270,000 coronavirus cases and more than 4,200 deaths, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. More than 18,000 Florida residents have been hospitalized. The new record reflects a new surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. in recent months, as the epicenter has shifted away from New York and towards other states, including Florida, Texas and Arizona. On July 4, Floridians accounted for more than one-fifth of all new COVID-19 cases in the country.
Florida was quick to re-open and came out of lockdown in early May, but recent coronavirus surges have led some local authorities to re-impose curfews and issue a mandate on the use of face masks. This, despite assurances from Gov. Ron DeSantis that schools can reopen amid the pandemic. “If we can do Walmart, we can do schools,” DeSantis said Thursday, according to CNN.
As of now, the Republican Party still plans to hold its 2020 GOP national convention in Jacksonville, Fla., beginning on Aug. 24. The party changed the location from its initial choice of Charlotte, N.C., which refused to budge on safety measures that would have limited crowd size.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom also reopened Saturday in Florida, with more Disney Parks set to open next week.
Florida has also come under fire from a data scientist who was previously managing the state’s coronavirus information dashboard. Rebekah Jones has accused the state of hiding important information and she created her own competing coronavirus dashboard last month after being fired in May. Her dashboard, which relies on and highlights state data — some of which is not easily available — points out that more than 7,400 people in Florida are currently hospitalized because of the coronavirus and that 45 new deaths were reported Sunday.
Correction, July 13
The original version of this story misstated the previous record for new coronavirus cases reported in a single day by a U.S. state. The previous record was set by California, which reported more than 12,900 cases on July 7, according to coronavirus data from Johns Hopkins University. It was not set by New York. The original version of this story also misstated the record number of new coronavirus cases in New York. The most new cases New York has reported in a single day so far was 11,434 on April 15, according to coronavirus data from JHU. New York did not report 12,274 cases on April 4.