Florida Reports Highest Single-Day Coronavirus Cases, Deaths as Nearly 1 in 5 Tests Positive

Florida had its highest single-day numbers in coronavirus cases and deaths on Thursday, with nearly 1 in 5 people testing positive.

The state reported 8,935 new cases and 120 new deaths overnight, along with 409 new hospitalizations, according to WSVN 7 News reporter Brian Entin.

8935 new Florida COVID-19 cases overnight:
-232718 total cases (up from 223783 yesterday)
-17167 hospital admissions (up from 16758)
-4009 deaths (up from 3889)
-55961 in Dade (up from 53974)
-25102 in Broward (up from 23781)
-18656 in Palm Beach (up from 18231)

— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) July 9, 2020

The state's coronavirus website says there are now 232,718 confirmed cases of the virus and 4,009 deaths attributed to its disease, COVID-19.

Newsweek reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Governor Ron DeSantis is scheduled to give an update on the state's outbreak at 2:30 p.m. local time. In a Tuesday appearance on Fox News, he said the coronavirus fatality rate has been low thus far because of the age of those infected. He added that the state is prepared for the virus' surge.

"The median age of our new cases was in the 50s about a month and a half ago. That has dropped into the 30s. We have had days where the median age was 33, and obviously that is important," the governor said.

Among "people who are healthy and under 40, the death rate of this thing is very close to zero. So that's significant," DeSantis said.

The governor extended the "state of emergency" executive order Tuesday for another 60 days, which allows DeSantis the use of broader powers like quickly purchasing supplies and deploying the National Guard if necessary.

DeSantis also posted a tweet urging residents to follow social distancing protocols as the state battles to try and lower the number of new cases that are increasing every day.

I urge all Floridians to continue social distancing to help protect our state’s most vulnerable and slow the spread of #COVID19. Avoid the "Three Cs" and high-risk environments. Wearing a facial covering when you can’t social distance may also help reduce transmission. pic.twitter.com/cL1gnDtTtp

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 7, 2020

"I urge all Floridians to continue social distancing to help protect our state's most vulnerable and slow the spread of COVID-19. Avoid the "Three Cs" and high-risk environments. Wearing a facial covering when you can't social distance may also help reduce transmission," DeSantis said in the tweet. The "Three C's" to be avoided include closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

DeSantis has yet to implement a statewide mask order, even though multiple Florida regions, such as Palm Beach County, have done so at the local level. At a June 26 press conference, the governor said that while a mask mandate "could make an impact... [to] put criminal penalties on that is something that probably would backfire."

Multiple Florida lawmakers sent a letter to DeSantis on June 24 urging the governor to implement a mask mandate after the state surpassed 100,000 cases.

"We need to hear from you, clearly and unequivocally, that wearing a mask in public is a requirement. In saying so, you will be making a statement, driven by scientific data, that each individual has an urgent and integral role to play in slowing the spread of this virus," the letter stated.

Newsweek reached out to DeSantis' office for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Update: This story has been updated to include comments from Ron DeSantis.

Lake Buena Vista
Crowds walk through the Disney Springs shopping and dining complex at Walt Disney World on July 8 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Florida reportedly saw 8,935 new coronavirus cases and 120 deaths overnight. Octavio Jones/Getty