Florida sets one-day record with over 15,000 new COVID cases, more than
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[July 13, 2020]
By Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) - Florida reported a record
increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on
Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed its push for schools to
reopen and anti-mask protests were planned in Michigan and Missouri.
If Florida were a country, it would rank fourth in the world for the
most new cases in a day behind the United States, Brazil and India,
according to a Reuters analysis.
Florida's daily increases in cases have already surpassed the highest
daily tally reported by any European country during the height of the
pandemic there. It has also broken New York state's record of 12,847 new
cases on April 10 when it was the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.
The latest rise was reported a day after Walt Disney World in Orlando
reopened with a limited number of guests who were welcomed with a host
of safety measures, including masks and temperature checks.
Anti-mask activists in several states, including Florida and Michigan,
have organized protests against local mandates, arguing that the
measures infringe upon individual freedom.
Coronavirus infections are rising in about 40 states, according to a
Reuters analysis of cases for the past two weeks compared with the prior
two weeks. Nationally, the United States has broken global records by
registering about 60,000 new cases a day for the last four days in a
row, according to a Reuters tally. Hospitalizations and positive test
rates are also rising in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
Florida reported a record amount of testing, with nearly 143,000 results
announced on Sunday compared with an average of 68,000 for the prior
(GRAPHIC - Tracking the novel coronavirus in the U.S., https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-USA/0100B5K8423/index.html)
TRUMP DONS MASK
Facing a battered economy as he seeks re-election in November, President
Donald Trump has pressured states to reopen shuttered businesses and
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Sunday that her department did
not have its own safe reopening plans to promote, and each school
district and state must devise their own plans based on their local
coronavirus infection rates.
Health officials have pleaded with the public to wear masks to limit the
spread of the virus, but the issue has become politically divisive in
the United States unlike many other countries that have seen far lower
rates of infection and death.
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A sign advertising COVID-19 antibody testing is seen at Baptist
Hospital entrance, as Miami-Dade County eases some of the lockdown
measures put in place during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
outbreak, in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Marco
Seven months into the pandemic, Trump wore a mask for the first time
in public when he visited a Washington D.C.-area military medical
center on Saturday. He had previously refused to wear a mask in
public or ask Americans to wear face coverings, saying it was a
Many Americans still refuse to wear a mask, which health experts say
help stop transmission of the virus that has killed more than
Anti-mask activists organized a protest on Saturday at a grilled
cheese restaurant and bar in Windermere, Florida, which is in Orange
County about 12 miles (19 km) from Walt Disney World.
The restaurant, 33 & Melt, has become a focal point of tension after
owner Carrie Hudson said she was not requiring customers to wear
masks. County officials have mandated the use of masks in public
since June 20.
During Saturday's protest, no customers wore face coverings inside
the restaurant. Agents from the state's Division of Alcoholic
Beverages and Tobacco arrived during the rally and served Hudson
with a warning, according to a video.
"This is a virus that is very well contained," said one of the
demonstrators, anti-mask activist Tara Hill. "Everyone is
responsible for their own health care decisions ... We want our
choices respected as well."
In addition to a record 15,000 new cases on Sunday, more than four
dozen hospitals in Florida reported that their intensive care units
are full due to a surge in COVID-19 patients.
Hundreds were expected to attend a demonstration at the Michigan
state capitol on Sunday afternoon, according to a Facebook event, to
protest against Governor Gretchen Whitmer's order that everyone must
wear a mask in public, except when outdoors and able to maintain
Protesters were also planning to gather outside city hall in
Springfield, Missouri on Monday, where the city council was due to
vote on a mask mandate in response to rising cases and a more than
fourfold increase in Greene County's COVID-19 hospitalizations in
the last month.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borters in New York and Octavio Jones in
Windermere, Florida; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Daniel
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