Florida COVID-19 cases jump by 17K over 2-day holiday period

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida health officials Saturday reported about 17,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 1.26 million since the start of the pandemic nearly 10 months ago.

The latest count on infections reflects two days worth of data, including Christmas Day. The state did not report fresh numbers on Friday because of the holiday.

During that same two-day span, another 140 Floridians were reported to have died from COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to more than 21,100.

Most testing sites were closed over Christmas, and it remains to be seen how high demand for testing might get next week among those who gathered to celebrate the holiday.

More than 5,600 new patients were admitted to Florida hospitals primarily because of the coronavirus, according to state health officials.