But after Florida seemingly avoided the worst of the virus, new cases in the state have skyrocketed, with the Florida Department of Health reporting almost 9,000 new cases on Friday, a figure that dwarfed the state's previous one-day coronavirus case record and showed the number of new cases more than tripling in just two weeks.
Since June 26, the deaths of twenty-four Florida residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have been reported in Broward, Collier, Dade, Gadsden, Hardee, Manatee, Martin, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk and Volusia counties.
As of Saturday morning, the virus' death toll stands at 3,390 and more than 14,000 have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Florida, according to DOH. On Friday, the state saw 8,942 new cases.
The worsening contagion in some parts of the United States has created a split-screen effect, with NY and its neighboring Northeastern states, which were hit hardest initially, reporting declining cases and forging ahead with reopening plans.More news: Princeton to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from school over racist history
The recommended number of daily tests needed varies among experts, but the dean of the University of South Florida's College of Medicine told the governor that Florida needs to test about 33,000 people every day. The county's confirmed total is now at 14,046.
Focusing more closely on the hospitalization numbers does show that the number of serious cases is growing, if only slightly, and nowhere near the state's bed capacity.
The previous statewide one-day high, set Thursday, was 5,508 new cases.
Bars will be closed statewide, according to a tweet from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.More news: Google Pixel 4a gets FCC certification, launch imminent
The health department says it does not "have a figure" to reflect the number of people now hospitalized and only provides the total number of hospitalizations in its statewide and county-level data. The county's known total is now at 30,196.
Previously, it has taken as long as two weeks for pending test results from private labs to be added into the state's official count, making it hard for officials to project the size and scale of the pandemic in the state.
Earlier this week NY joined New Jersey and CT in imposing a 14-day mandatory quarantines on travelers from states with high infection rates.
In a reversal of his early moves to relax restrictions, Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday ordered bars across the state to close and required restaurants to limit indoor seating, acknowledging that in hindsight he had opened bars too soon.More news: 'The Boys’ season 2 release date revealed