On March 1, 2020, the U.S. state of Florida became the tenth state in the United States with a documented COVID-19 case, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within two weeks, widespread closures of public schools, resorts, and theme parks had been announced throughout the state. On July 2, 2020 Florida public health officials reported 10,109 new COVID-19 cases, a new single-day record, and 67 deaths, for a total of 169,106 cases and 3,617 deaths.
The seven day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Florida increased nearly ten-fold during the month of June, from 726 new cases per day on June 1 to 7,140 new cases on July 1, 2020.As of July 2 the 7-day moving average of new cases has risen to 7,870. As of July 2020, Florida has the 5th highest number of confirmed cases in the United States.
The first case in Alachua County was confirmed. On March 11, UF Health Shands Hospital confirmed they were treating their first patient with a case of coronavirus, but declined to say whether it was the same person who tested positive for the virus earlier in the week. That same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded Florida $27 million to help quell the pandemic. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunities released a dashboard showing that 1.5 million unemployment claims were made during the last month. Also, the same day, the Florida National Guard assisted with COVID-19 sample collections at a State Nursing home for Veterans in Pembroke Pines. In addition, they have helped across Florida in more than 50,000 COVID-19 tests and numerous screenings at airports.
Florida saw its third-highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. June 10 also marked the seventh 1,000+ increase in cases within 8 days in Florida, totaling to 67,371 COVID-19 positive cases. Despite these growing cases, events like the Miami-Broward Carnival are still planned to happen. Furthermore, on June 10, Miami Beach reopened with social distancing guidelines. Records continued to break for the third day in a row with 2,581 new coronavirus cases bringing the total number to 73,552. For the second day in a row, on June 14, Florida reported over 2,000 new positive COVID-19 cases bringing the total number to 75,568. As the U.S. death toll tops 115,000, worry rises for Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 Dashboard, there were 4,671 new cases, bringing the total amount of positive cases to 97,291 and 3,161 deaths. Furthermore, the dashboard by Rebekah Jones, says “the DOH “Cases” include residents and non-residents, but exclude those who received positive anti-body test results”. That dashboard records 105,772 total positive people, 3,254 deaths, and 25,171 recovered. Her dashboard also says that on June 21, there were 3,493 new cases. Both dashboards do not have the same numbers; however, they show that there is an increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida. Florida reported 10,109 new COVID-19 cases, a new single-day record, and 67 deaths, with a total of 169,106 cases and 3,617 deaths on July 2, 2020.
On March 1, Governor DeSantis declared a public health emergency after two cases were confirmed in Manatee County and Hillsborough County. On March 17, he ordered all bars and nightclubs to be closed for 30 days, extended school closures to April 15, and canceled state-mandated school testing. By the third week of the pandemic’s presence in Florida, DeSantis began attracting criticism for the state’s slow response to the pandemic, particularly for deferring beach closings to local governments during spring break while vacationers continued to congregate. The Miami Herald‘s editorial board wrote an editorial condemning DeSantis inaction in requesting help from the federal government while noting his vocal support of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced on March 22 that they would be closing all state parks to the public. Miami Beach reopened a number of public parks on April 29. Over the following weekend, authorities issued over 7,000 verbal warnings to people who were not wearing face masks. Most of the state’s sports teams were affected by the pandemic. Several leagues postponed or suspended their seasons starting March 12.