Daily new virus cases in Florida are lowest since July
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Florida has reported more than 75,000 cases of COVID-19 during the week, continuing a decline from summer highs as the state battled a sharp rise in infections fueled by the variant delta, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention.
Figures released on Friday brought the state’s daily average for the week to more than 10,800 cases, although there were 11,275 new cases reported on Friday. A month ago, Florida averaged more than 21,000 cases per day. The daily average last week was the lowest since the end of July.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Florida since the pandemic began in early 2020 is just under 3.5 million cases, according to the CDC.
Despite the drop in new cases, Florida marked a dark stage over the past week, surpassing 50,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic. Florida had 51,240 COVID-19-related deaths as of Thursday.
Epidemiologists say the state’s vaccination rates have exceeded the national average, but that was not enough to keep the highly contagious variant at bay due to its disproportionate elderly population and low vaccination rates among younger groups with which they interact.
Among those who refuse to be vaccinated, there are about 600 Orange County firefighters in the Orlando area who are resisting the mandate of Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings to be vaccinated against COVID-19. or risk losing their job. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to impose fines on local governments like Orange County requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It is certainly not my desire to fire any of our employees and we have not to date fired any of our employees because they refuse to take the vaccine. I hope we don’t get to that point, ”Demings said on Friday. “But regardless of what you think of the vaccine, where you land as an individual, there is still legal authority that we have as an employing entity over the employees for whom we are directly responsible.”
Meanwhile, one of Central Florida’s largest hospital systems has returned to normal operations after several weeks of restrictions on elective surgeries and other efforts to conserve resources due to the increase in related hospitalizations. to COVID-19. AdventHealth’s Central Florida division said the number of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals now stands at 850 people, several hundred fewer than at the start of the summer.
“We understand that COVID will be with us and we will need to understand how to care for COVID patients while also caring for others who need care in our community,” Dr. Neil Finkler, Clinical Director of the Central Florida Division of AdventHealth , said Friday.
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