On this Independence Day, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting the Florida State Health Department has now confirmed 190,052 COVID-19 cases and 3,702 deaths, including 18 new fatalities reported today and an additional 101 deaths of non-Florida residents.
The health department Saturday reported the results of 85,086 new tests statewide, with a positivity rate of 15.8 percent - which suggests community spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease.
By comparison, NY state - the US epicenter of the outbreak months ago, reported just 844 hospitalizations on Saturday, far below the almost 19,000 hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients at the peak of its coronavirus crisis.
More than 15,000 people have been hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 and 3,803 people have died. It was the highest daily number of test results reported since at least June 20. The figure exceeds the total number of cases Florida experienced between March 1 - when the first case was detected - and April 2, when the number reached 9,008.
As per the latest update by the Johns Hopkins University, a total of 2,818,588 people in the United States have tested positive of coronavirus and 129,584 deaths have been reported till now.
North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, Missouri, Idaho and Alabama all registered new daily highs on Friday, while Texas hit a new peak for hospitalizations. That was up from four states with double-digit rates two weeks ago.
But the new infections are no longer just a youthful phenomenon: the more vulnerable 75-and-over cohort has had more than 2,400 new cases in the past week alone.
Against that backdrop, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez imposed an indefinite nightly curfew starting Friday and halted the reopenings of entertainment venues such as casinos and strip clubs.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to dismiss the jump in confirmed cases as a function of more tests and again this week predicted that the virus would "disappear".