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Florida reports second consecutive day of record coronavirus cases, highest since pandemic began

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Diane, a nurse from Houston, Texas, sunbathes at the beach next to her husband, both wearing facemasks, in Miami Beach, Florida on June 16, 2020.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | AFP via Getty Images

Florida reported 9,636 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, marking another record breaking day as cases continue to surge in the state, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health.

The spike comes a day after the state set of record of 8,942 cases on Friday. The coronavirus has now infected more than 130,000 people in Florida and killed at least 3,390. There were 76,129 tests conducted on Friday with a 12.7% positivity rate, according to the health department.

Cases have been rising by the thousands in Florida in recent days, along with a surge in many other states, particularly in the South and West.

Some officials have delayed or even rolled back reopening efforts. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced Friday that it was suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide.

Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed an emergency order to shutter all beaches in Miami-Dade County for the July 4 weekend as he criticized beachgoers for failing to follow public health guidelines. 

“As we continue to see more COVID-19 positive test results among young adults and rising hospitalizations, I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities that put our overall community at higher risk,” Gimenez said in a statement.

The city of Miami on Thursday also issued a mandate requiring people to cover their faces in public at all times. In Palm Beach County, north of Miami, the mayor on Friday said that 1.5 million face masks will be mailed to all 660,000 homes there.

Even as cases continue to soar, there’s no statewide mask requirement in Florida.

Asked why all residents are not required to wear masks in public, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference on Friday, “We’re going to continue to put out the guidance, and we’re going to trust people to make good decisions.” 

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