Florida Records Highest COVID-19 Deaths in Pandemic History: Report

  • Florida recorded 901 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, according to the Miami Herald‘s calculation of CDC data.
  • The number of deaths is the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began. 
  • Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mask and vaccine mandates, even as cases continue to rise.

Florida recorded 901 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, the highest single-day increase in deaths in the state since the pandemic began, according to the Miami Herald‘s calculation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.  

Florida is experiencing its worst surge in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with the state recording more than 150,000 cases in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data. 

Florida has stopped reporting daily cases of COVID-19, releasing weekly data instead. 

As the death toll from COVID-19 increases, morgues are struggling to keep pace, with AdventHealth — a non-profit healthcare system in central Florida — renting refrigerators to store dead bodies.

Hospitals are also close to a breaking point in the state. Around 95% of Intensive Care Unit beds are in use across 262 hospitals, with 55.3% taken up by COVID-19 patients, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. On Monday, 75 doctors walked out on their jobs to protest against a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients

Around 53.3% of Florida’s 21 million residents are fully vaccinated, according to JHU data, compared to the national vaccination rate of 52.4%.

But the state has struggled to manage the more contagious and deadly Delta variant. Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has for weeks resisted mask and vaccine mandates. 

On July 31, DeSantis issued an executive order banning schools from imposing mask mandates, and threatened to withdraw funding if they do. Many school districts, however, have defied DeSantis’ ban. 

Over the past month, coronavirus cases have risen, especially among young people. Orange County officials said Monday that children between 5 and 14 years old accounted for the highest number of new cases in the county — about 20% — according to My News 13

The state has recorded at least three million COVID-19 cases and more than 42,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to JHU

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