As Florida continues to ‘reopen,’ COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to rise

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. Microphotography by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Florida is closing in on 45,000 COVID-19 infections and 2,000 resident deaths, even as the state prepares for gyms to open and restaurants and retail stores to increase their capacities on Monday, in hopes of bolstering Florida’s economy.

The Florida Department of Health on Saturday is reporting 44,811 infections and 1,964 deaths, the size and scope of which could not have been imagined back in March.

On Sunday, March 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced “two individuals” in Florida who tested positive for the new coronavirus that had become a global epidemic. Those two people were from Manatee and Hillsborough counties.

As of Saturday, Miami-Dade reported 15,366 infections; Broward, 6,201 and and Palm Beach, 4,440, all increases compared to the day before. The three counties had become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and had been excluded from efforts across the state to lift various restrictions from strict stay-at-home orders.

But the governor recently loosened restrictions for Palm Beach and he then announced that Broward and Miami-Dade would follow suit on Monday.

The Florida Department of Health has been using various measure to show that the state is improving in terms of the coronavirus crisis.

And Florida remains behind states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and California when it comes to the number of infections, according to tracking by the New York Times. Florida also is behind many other states for the number of deaths based on population figures, according to the Times.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.