Florida COVID Cases Jump by Over 50 Percent in One Day as Infections Skyrocket

Florida saw its daily COVID-19 cases jump by 56 percent on Tuesday, in the state's largest single-day increase in infections since late August.

On Tuesday, the sunshine state's cases increased by 20,194 over the last 24 hours. On Monday, cases increased by 12,915. This represents a 56 percent increase between daily cases on Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday marked the the largest single day rise in COVID-19 cases since August 28, when 21,189 cases were reported during the last wave, which was dominated by the Delta variant.

No new deaths were reported for Tuesday. However, it is likely the Florida Department of Health will add deaths to Tuesday's total, the Miami Herald reported.

As of Tuesday, the latest COVID-19 data available, Florida had a seven-day daily average of 10,903 cases, a nearly five-fold increase of the figure of 1,818 two weeks ago.

Overall, the sunshine state has recorded more than 3.7 million COVID-19 cases and more than 62,000 deaths, according to official data.

About 63 percent of the state's population are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On December 17, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he expected coronavirus cases to rise again this winter. At an Ocala press event, the Republican said the state would now offer a preventative monoclonal treatment that received emergency use authorization last week.

The treatment is called EVUSHELD from AstraZeneca, and it is approved for those with weak immune systems and those who respond poorly to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Omicron variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States. On Monday, the CDC said that the new variant, which has around 50 mutations, now accounted for 73 percent of sequenced cases.

A study that was published on Wednesday found South Africans contracting the Omicron variant are 80 percent less likely to be hospitalized with the disease than if they had caught another COVID-19 strain.

Researchers said this was likely due to a combination of high population immunity in South Africa and a lower severity of the highly mutated virus variant.

Despite positive signs that the variant may be less severe, the World Health Organization warned Wednesday that it was still too soon to draw firm conclusions about how the strain would act across the globe.

The WHO technical lead on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove, warned in a Geneva news briefing that the data was still "messy."

"We have not seen this variant circulate long enough in populations around the world, certainly in vulnerable populations. We have been asking countries to be cautious, and to really think, especially as these holidays are coming up," she said.

Florida COVID testing site
People stand in a line at a COVID-19 testing site being run by Blue Med Consultants on December 20, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Florida saw its daily COVID-19 cases jump by 56 percent on Tuesday. Joe Raedle