Update: Florida now has surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 infections. On Saturday, testing revealed 10,059 positive results for the new coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 200,111. Deaths reported Saturday numbered 29, bringing the total to 3,721. The positive rate for test results received Saturday was a bit above 15 percent.
Florida has set a new single-day record for COVID-19 infections — 11,458, as reported Saturday by the Florida Department of Health.
The new cases reflect test results reported as of midnight Friday. There were 18 deaths that day.
That brings Florida’s infections total to 190,052 with 3,702 deaths.
Of the results recorded that day, the positivity rate was 14.1 percent. Some 15,735 of the state’s cases have resulted in hospitalizations, according to the state data.
The state’s COVID rate is 831 per 100,000 people and its death rate is 17 per 100,000 people, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
The numbers came amid growing pressure on Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide mandate for people to wear masks in public to contain transmission. State Senate Democrats demanded action last week. He has argued a mandate would be unenforceable at the state level and better left to local officials.
On Friday, 10 House Democrats released a copy of a letter they’d written to DeSantis citing medical evidence regarding the efficacy of masks in limiting transmission and urging him to act.
“This is not a partisan issue; this is an issue of life and death,” they wrote.
“As lawmakers, there are many times that we must take difficult votes that aren’t popular but are the right thing to do. In watching the devastation that COVID-19 is causing in our communities we strongly recommend that the state of Florida implement a mandatory use of face covering over the nose and mouth while in a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible. This small but important gesture will have big consequences for the greater good,” they wrote.
The signatories were Anna Eskamani, Shevrin Jones, Carlos Smith, Cindy Polo, Ben Diamond, Adam Hattersley, Fentrice Driskell, Amy Mercado, Dan Daley, and Javier Fernandez.