Coronavirus Kills More in Florida, Texas in One Month Than 20 Years of Hurricanes

Novel coronavirus cases in Florida and Texas continue to soar, including nearly 3,800 and 2,700 deaths, respectively. Each state has reported nearly 205,650 to 206,450 infections to date, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The combined number of COVID-19-related deaths recorded in both states over the past month is greater than the total hurricane-related deaths reported in the U.S. over the past 20 years.

From June 5 to July 6, Florida reported 1,168 deaths, according to Worldometer. Texas saw 888 deaths in the same period, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

This amounts to a combined total of 2,056 fatalities reported in both states over roughly the past month. This surpasses the 1,960 hurricane deaths and hurricane-related fatalities reported in the past 20 years from 2000 to 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Hurricane Center.

The total COVID-19-related fatalities to date in Florida (3,778 deaths) and Texas (2,667 deaths) also both exceed the number of deaths from tropical cyclones in the U.S. reported over a 50 year period, according to a 2014 study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

"Around 2,544 people died in the United States or its coastal waters from tropical cyclones in the 50-year period of 1963–2012. This estimate likely represents a modest underestimate of the total because it does not fully account for people who died but were reported as missing," the study noted.

The daily death tolls in both states have seen several spikes over the past month, including on July 1, when Texas reported a record 57 new deaths, the second-highest daily death toll since the outbreak began.

Florida also saw several spikes, including from June 28 to July 3, when the daily death count was on a mostly increasing trend, according to Worldometer.

Last week, over a period of seven days, Texas and Florida reported more new cases than the combined total reported in all 27 countries within the European Union (EU).

From June 25 to July 1, the combined total new infections in both states amounted to 94,300, nearly three times more than the 32,458 new infections reported in the whole of the EU in the same period, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The daily case counts in both states have also been on a mostly increasing trend in recent weeks.

In Florida, daily new cases began spiking from around May 27, three weeks since most Florida counties entered phase one of reopening on May 4. The daily case count saw sharper rises from around June 8, a few days after phase two of reopening began on June 5.

Several reopened bars in Florida were closed again around mid-June after customers tested positive for the virus.

Miami Beach Florida July 2020
Pedestrians on Ocean Drive in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach, Florida pictured on July 3, 2020. Getty Images

Daily new cases in Texas have been on a mostly increasing trend since May 1, when the state entered phase one of reopening. The daily case count began increasing on a steeper incline from around June 8, less than a week after phase two of reopening began on June 3.

On Monday, Texas also reported a record 8,698 hospitalizations, the highest level seen since April 4. Hospitalizations in the state began steadily increasing from around June 1, about a month after the state reopened in May, according to the Texas DSHS.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a "temporary pause" on further reopenings last month, noting the outbreak had taken a "very swift and a very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks."

The governor issued a new executive order reintroducing restrictions on bars, restaurants and outdoor gatherings.

The novel coronavirus, first reported in Wuhan, China, has spread to more than 11.6 million people across the globe, including over 2.9 million in the U.S. Over 6.3 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 538,700 have died, as of Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Coronavirus Trajectory U.S. States Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the portion of people who wore a mask in April and May amid the ongoing pandemic.

Face masks Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and European Union.

statista, covid19, coronavirus
A graph comparing newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Statista