Florida has reported more than 414,000 cases of the coronavirus as of Saturday, surpassing New York and becoming the US state with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases reported since the pandemic began.
Florida still sits slightly behind the state of California, which has reported 440,325 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported 12,180 new cases of the virus since Friday, pushing the state total past New York.
The state still falls well behind New York in deaths from the novel coronavirus. According to data from the department of health, there have so far been 5,894 reported deaths caused by the virus in the state of Florida. There has been more than five times that number — 32,596 deaths — in the state of New York, according to the Hopkins data. The state of New York suffered the worst outbreak of the coronavirus early on but has recently maintained a low rate of new infections.
Deaths have also been on the rise in Florida, which reported 173 new deaths from the virus on Thursday — an all-time record. On Saturday, the state health department reported 124 new COVID-19 deaths.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the current positivity rate over the past seven days in the state of Florida is 19% compared to a rate of 1.1% in New York. In California, 7.9% of tests administered over the past week have returned a positive result — not too dissimilar from the 8.4% rate nationwide.
The hardest-hit Florida county is Miami-Dade, which surpassed more than 100,000 cases on Saturday, according to state data. As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has faced renewed scrutiny for his handling of the pandemic in the state. A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found that 52% of Floridians polled were dissatisfied with the Republican's performance.
DeSantis has so far refused calls to issue a statewide mask mandate, though approximately one-third of Florida counties require them, according to Forbes.
As the Tampa Bay Times reported, Florida on Saturday recorded its third-highest increase in hospitalizations, with 511 new hospitalized patients. State officials reported 584 new hospitalizations on Friday, according to the report.