FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida reported 22,783 new COVID-19 cases to the CDC from Thursday, a new record for the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
It comes as the state is expected to release its weekly report Friday, which is poised to show a seventh consecutive week with an increase in new infections.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Florida reported the record 22,783 new cases Thursday, breaking the previous high of 21,683 from June 30. Another 20,133 new cases were reported Wednesday.
The CDC’s reporting shows an increase of 523 deaths connected to COVID-19 in Florida over the past week, including 199 reported Thursday.
It brings Florida’s totals to 2,701,547 cases and 39,602 deaths since the start of the outbreak.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Florida have also reached their highest level since the start of the pandemic.
“On July 1, Jackson was treating 66 COVID-positive inpatients in our hospitals. As of noon [Thursday], that number is 320,” Jackson Health CEO Carlos Migoya said. “A 385% increase in just over a month.”
Infectious disease experts, hospital leaders and elected officials continue to stress that vaccines are the most effective way of reversing this concerning trend.
The recent surge in cases driven by the contagious Delta variant has led to hours-long lines at COVID-19 testing sites — with new ones opening in Broward and Miami-Dade to handle the demand — and many people are now deciding it’s time to get vaccinated.
Christian Escalona, 17, got his first dose Friday morning at Tropical Park in Southwest Miami-Dade County.
“Well, I see everybody around getting infected, so might as well put the vaccine in,” he said.
It was a decision he made with his father, Juan, who was already vaccinated.
“The decision is a simple one,” Juan Escalona said. “People are dying. Kids don’t understand it, but we decide because he’s only 17. So, in an abundance of caution, we say let’s get the vaccine, so here we are.”
For information on where COVID-19 vaccines and tests are available in South Florida, click here.
This is a developing news story. Check back and watch Local 10 for updates.
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Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon contributed information to this report.