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Florida Sets New Daily Record In COVID-19 Infections, Records More Than 4,000 New Cases Overnight

A medical worker administers a test for a COVID-19 at a facility in Camden, N.J., on Wednesday.

Florida has been setting new records daily in the past couple of weeks for new infections. The state recorded 4,049 new cases overnight with a 12.4% positivity rate. That brings the state to nearly 64,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than 3,100 people have died from the disease so far.

People in their 20s and 30s are the fastest-growing group testing positive for COVID-19. The shift has occurred as more businesses have opened and protests have broken out across the country.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says young people are the least at risk for hospitalizations, as the disease is more deadly for older people and those with underlying health conditions.

“Most of the people in those age groups going to get tested are asymptomatic,” DeSantis told reporters during a Saturday press conference.

The governor has said he has no plans to slow the state’s reopening and isn’t going to issue a statewide mandate to wear face masks.

DeSantis also notes the use of contact tracing—finding people an infected person has been in contact with—is also driving positive confirmations higher. But he points out the state’s death rate from COVID-19 is still declining.

“I knew from the beginning… when you do mass testing… you will find more cases. So we expected that, we expected to find more cases, I knew how that would be portrayed,” he said.

“Since the beginning of May, we’ve had a very good downward trend in daily fatalities that are COVID related… and that’s been going on for seven weeks, which is good.”

The median age has fallen from 65 in March at the start of the pandemic in the United States, to 32 in Broward, 29 in Duval, 30 in Hillsboro, 29 in Orange, Pinellas and 27 in Seminole County. “That’s a really significant skew,” DeSantis said. Earlier in the week, he pointed to an increase in testing in underserved and agriculture communities in explaining the rise in positive COVID-19 cases.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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