Florida health officials registered another record-breaking day, when cases of coronavirus spiked to their highest number yet in both Miami-Dade and Broward County on Saturday.
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Despite beach closures before the Fourth of July weekend to prevent large crowds from gathering, there were 2,418 new cases of coronavirus in Miami-Dade County on Saturday.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber punished residents for “not listening” and refusing to adhere to social distance protocols and masking mandates that have been in effect for weeks.
“For some people, they listen to mixed messages from Washington and decide they don̵
In Broward County, 1,346 new cases were registered, says the Florida Department of Health, bringing the county’s total value to 19,575.
State totals jumped over 11,000 cases, bringing Florida’s caseload to 190,052. Hospital admissions were up by 585 people and health officials said 14 percent of Floridians have been infected with COVID-19. The current national level of positive testing is 7.5 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In addition, another 18 people died in Florida, as the deaths drew up to 3,702 people.
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“We have a very serious health problem,” Gelber said. “We have over 1,400 people in our hospitals right now. Our intensive care is increasing. Our people at valves are increasing. We can’t just ignore it.”
The rapid increase in new cases broke new records for Sunshine State on Thursday, as officials noted higher numbers of confirmed cases six times greater than the daily record last month.
Gelber received backlash from residents as he tightened restrictions in his city, stopped phased reopens and implemented a curfew in an attempt to get the nail down in new cases. In addition, restaurant guests were ordered to wear a mask throughout the meal, just take it off to eat and drink.
Gelber said the measures were necessary and fought back against claims that the restrictions were a violation of fundamental rights.
“There is nothing more American than sacrificing for your loved one, for a neighbor, or for a stranger. And it’s time for people to just follow these guidelines. Use a mask. It’s not a political statement,” he said.
As Florida struggled through the July 4 weekend, so did other states in the country.
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Alabama this week also set a record for infections reported in one day, with more than 1,700 new confirmed cases registered Thursday, and state health officials worried that the weekend could lead to the kind of spike that followed Memorial Day weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.