ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health reported nearly 20,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, breaking the state's record for the highest single-day increase of infections.
They specifically reported 19,816 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 1,429,722.
They also reported 170 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 22,817.
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The previous record for a single-day increase in Florida was reached Wednesday, January 6th, with 17,783 new cases. Prior to that, the record was set on December 31st with 17,192 new infections.
The death toll has increased rapidly in recent months. On October 4th, by comparison, the total was 14,671 Florida resident deaths --- representing an increase of slightly more than 50 percent over the past three months. On November 4th, the total was 16,922 deaths --- representing about a 30 percent increase over the past two months.
Seniors continue to be the hardest hit, with people 65 and older making up about 83 percent of the Florida resident deaths, the Department of Health numbers show. Florida has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the country, behind New York, Texas, and California.
Florida is in phase three of reopening with no limitations on restaurants. They must operate at a minimum of 50 percent capacity, regardless of rules by the local government.
The original plan for Phase 3 allowed for the following changes:
- Individuals older than 65 years of age and individuals with a serious underlying medical condition can resume public interactions but should practice social distancing.
- Non-vulnerable populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.
- Non-essential travel may continue.
- Employees should resume unrestricted staffing of worksites and implement the final phasing in of employees returning to work.
- Employees should resume non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.
- Local government meetings should return to in-person quorum and public participation for local government bodies.
- Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices.
- Restaurants and food service establishments may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. Businesses should maintain adequate sanitation practices.
- Gyms and fitness centers should open to full capacity but should maintain adequate sanitation practices among employees and patrons during all hours of operation.
- State parks should be fully opened, including overnight accommodations. Beaches should remain fully open.
- Large venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, and bowling alleys should re-open fully with limited social distancing protocols.
- Large spectator sporting events should consider reducing capacity with limited social distancing protocols.
- Theme parks may return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols.
- Salons, barbershops and nail salons, should operate under full capacity but should consider removing all unnecessary, frequent-touch items such as magazines and newspapers, and maintain sanitation standards.
- Retail businesses should operate at full capacity.
Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. Others can then contract the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then their eyes, nose or mouth.
As stated before, symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They may show in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure, the Florida Department of Health says. Most people recover from COVID-19 without special treatment, but the elderly and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness.
If you display coronavirus symptoms, you should contact a local health organization and make them aware of your condition prior to arrival while also following specific instructions or guidelines they may have.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know if you have been infected or believe that you may be. If you are infected, a medical professional or another authority will likely advise that you remain isolated while sick. This includes staying at home and not going into public places or large events.
Please visit the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.
For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.