(Jamaican Observer)MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Florida today reported a record of more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, as it struggles to rein in the virus’s spread, blamed in part on young people congregating in the US state.
The exact figure of 10,109 cases — for a total of 169,106 — marks the second record since just Saturday.
Florida is a key focus of public health experts worried about a surge in several southern and western US states as the daily infection total has now surpassed 50,000 new cases.
In another sign of how bad things are getting in Florida, the largest health care provider in Miami, Jackson Health System, announced Wednesday it will no longer do non-urgent surgeries.
Its president Carlos Migoya warned that the provider will run out of hospital beds if the rise in cases seen over the past two weeks goes on for another month or two.
The state does not provide figures on how many people are hospitalized.
Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican ally of President Donald Trump, attributed the rise in cases in part to a more “robust” testing program.
He insisted that many of the new infected are young people who are asymptomatic.
DeSantis ruled out closing down the economy, which reopened in phases in May and June. For now, because of the surge in cases, the process is on hold.
“We’re not going back to closing things,” he said Wednesday.
Of the increase in cases, he insisted, “People going to a business is not what’s driving it.”
Rather, he blamed the surge on “social interactions” among young people gathering at parties, beaches, bars, swimming pools and elsewhere.
Miami Beach reinstated a night time curfew on Wednesday, and Miami-Dade County made the wearing of masks mandatory.
Beaches in south Florida have been shut down ahead of the long July 4 holiday weekend, and there will be limited use of pools at hotels and apartment buildings.