ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida has shattered its previous record for the number of coronavirus cases recorded in a day, according to data released Thursday.
The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 85,926 coronavirus cases statewide, a daily jump of 3,207 cases, the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic in March. The previous record — 2,783 cases — occurred Tuesday. The state has had at least 3,061 related deaths.
At least some of the increase reflects expanded testing especially among people who are younger and without symptoms. But the rate of positive tests also has been ticking upward in recent days, raising alarm.
The announcement came shortly after federal officials revealed that more than 86,000 Floridians applied for new jobless benefits last week, a drop of almost 30% from the previous week as pandemic-related restrictions continued easing up across the state.
The easing of restrictions meant to stop the spread of the new coronavirus has accompanied new outbreaks around Florida, forcing some local leaders to pull back.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Europe sees a rash of new local outbreaks including hundreds of infections at a German meatpacking plant
— China says infections are waning, including at Beijing market
— Is it safe to stay in hotels as reopenings get underway?
— Study ties blood type to COVID-19 risk; O may help, A hurt
— Spain to inject $4.7 billion aid package into its beleagured tourism industry.
— Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic is “a cause for celebration,” but a new poll finds more than half of Americans calling it fair or poor. The Gallup and West Health survey out Thursday shows that 57% of U.S. adults rate the national response to COVID-19 as fair or poor, particularly because America has the world’s most expensive health care.
— As work on potential coronavirus vaccines intensifies, rich countries are placing advance orders for the inevitably limited supply to guarantee their citizens are immunized first. That is leaving significant questions about how long it will take developing countries to get any vaccines.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NEW YORK — Restaurants, a key part of New York City’s identity, will be allowed to open with outdoor seating Monday as the city enters the second phase of easing coronavirus restrictions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
The outdoor seating plan will provide a lifeline for New York’s crucial restaurant industry as the city emerges cautiously from lockdown.
“We have to save this industry,” he said. “It’s part of our identity.”
Restaurateurs will be able to go online starting Friday to apply to open with seating on the sidewalk, in a backyard patio or using parking spaces. He estimated that 5,000 restaurants employing 45,000 workers would be able to open starting next week.
Offices, hair salons, retail stores and playgrounds in public parks will also be allowed to open during Phase 2 of the reopening, de Blasio said. He said 150,000 to 300,000 more people should be back at work.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had indicated that the city would be ready for Phase 2 on Monday, but de Blasio had said previously that he thought it might take longer. De Blasio said Thursday that he has spoken with the governor’s office about the reopening plan and that “there’s been a high degree of unity.”