COVID-19 infections spike to nearly 86,000, with a jump of some 3,200 cases from the day before

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. Meanwhile, new COVID variants are now rising. Microphotography by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A continued and dramatic rise in COVID-19 infections in Florida is raising questions about whether the state’s plans to loosen restrictions for residents and boost the economy could be backfiring.

Big events such as the Republican National Convention and the Junior Olympics are scheduled to come to town this summer, and the reopening of bars, gyms and other venues has allowed more people to be exposed to the disease.

Meanwhile, the number of infections is rising.

As of Thursday, the Florida Department of Health reported 85,926 COVID-19 infections, a dramatic jump of 3,207 cases compared to Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the jump was 2,610 new cases.

The death toll rose to 3,061 deaths on Thursday, compared to 3,018 on Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been discussing the rise in infections and deaths, arguing that the subsequent increase in positive test results is the natural outcome of increased testing.

He also has argued that the virus is most dangerous to older people and those with underlying health problems.

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.