Florida Surpasses 4,000 New Coronavirus Cases, Over 19,000 In A Week

Florida surpassed 4,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, a record high since the start of the pandemic, and the third straight day of new case highs.

According to the Florida Health Department, the state has reported a total of 93,797 coronavirus cases and 3,144 deaths attributed to the disease. Since last Saturday, the state has reported over 19,000 cases.

According to state health department data, 4,049 new cases were recorded Saturday. State data show cases have increased since Wednesday when 2,700 cases were confirmed, one case shy of the record high set on Monday. Thursday and Friday each saw over 3,000 cases reported.

Even as cases spike in the state, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has not implemented face masks requirements, as he does not think it is the state's job to tell people what they can or cannot wear.

"This has to be voluntarily because the Constitution is not suspended just because there is a virus...You do have a right to protest, you have a right to go to religious service, all these other things," the governor said at a press conference Friday.

The governor's refusal to implement an order for face masks prompted the Florida Medical Association to issue a statement asking local health officials to draft their own orders in a Twitter thread where group president Ronald Giffler detailed why face masks are needed.

"In response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases the Florida Medical Association (FMA) the state's largest physician organization, encourages local officials to adopt regulations requiring individuals to wear face coverings in public places," Giffler stated.

"The science is clear. Asymptomatic infected individuals can release infectious aerosol particles while breathing and speaking. Not wearing a mask or face covering increases exposure, whereas universal masking greatly reduces the spread of viral particles," Giffler stated.

"The message is simple: For the sake of your health and the health of everyone around you, Florida's doctors want you to wear a mask."

DeSantis has urged residents to wear face masks in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and to adhere to local orders. The governor said during a press conference Tuesday that even though the state was seeing a spike in cases, he would not be open to shutting down the economy to slow the spread.

"You have to be able to have a cohesive society. That's the best way to be able to deal with the impacts of the virus...To suppress a lot of working-age people at this point, I don't think would be effective," DeSantis said at the time.

Newsweek reached out to the governor's office for comment on the new single-day record in cases, but they did not respond back in time for publication.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is seen during a press conference on June 8, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The state has broken yet another record in new daily coronavirus cases Saturday. Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty