Florida Breaks Its Own Single-Day Covid Record 3 Times in a Week

Florida has reported record-breaking daily coronavirus cases three times in the past week as Omicron surges across the United States.

The Sunshine State recorded 46,923 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.

The new number shattered the previous record set on Christmas Eve of 32,874 daily cases. The day before that, December 23, the daily case record was broken for the first time since August with 31,744 positive tests confirmed.

The additional 46,923 cases reported Wednesday launched Florida past 4 million total cases since the COVID-19 outbreak began in the United States in March 2020. Florida has the third-most cases in the U.S., just behind Texas and California, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But the state did break into the top five U.S. states for cases per capita, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Florida Breaks Single Day COVID Record 3X
The Sunshine State has reported new daily coronavirus records three times in the past week as Omicron causes spikes across the U.S. Above, people stand in a line at a COVID-19 testing site set up at the Miami Beach 17th street garage on December 22, 2021, in Miami Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Florida's largest three counties—Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach— saw their case rate spike more than 100 percent.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been under fire for being "MIA" as the Omicron surge hits the state. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings asked Tuesday, "Where is Ron DeSantis now?' When is the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing on COVID-19?"

Charlie Crist, a Democrat running against DeSantis in 2022, accused DeSantis of providing "ZERO assistance" amid the new wave. Crist called on the governor to deploy the state National Guard to help overwhelmed cities.

DeSantis has emerged as one of the most popular Republican figures in the nation for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as he fights vaccine mandates and mask requirements for schools and businesses.

The governor was last spotted in mid-December at a press conference announcing a new preventative COVID-19 treatment from AstraZeneca. The monoclonal antibody treatment is aimed to prevent people from getting infected. Just over 3,000 doses will be distributed around Florida, DeSantis said.

Florida has been highlighting monoclonal antibody treatments for months for those infected with the virus. The state's Department of Health says it can help prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. Monoclonal antibodies are free for those ages 12 and older who are considered high risk.

But some areas have reported supply shortages of the treatment, and on Wednesday Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo blamed the Biden administration for "immediate and life-threatening shortage of treatment options to the State of Florida as the Omicron variant spreads."

Christina Pushaw, a press secretary for DeSantis, told Newsweek in an email that the Florida Department of Health is monitoring the Omicron surge and it's the administration's "understanding that many of the cases are mild or asymptomatic at this time."

"Lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccine passports are off the table; these interventions are heavily enforced in NYC and clearly they haven't worked there," Pushaw said. "Governor DeSantis has been working with DOH to expand access to effective treatments for Floridians, particularly those at high risk of COVID complications."