FLORIDA has overtaken the former US epicenter New York as coronavirus infections surge to 423,000 with nearly 6,000 deaths.
In The Sunshine State, more than 9,300 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday with 78 new deaths.
Today, Florida has 423,855 coronavirus cases, plus 9,344 cases from the previous day, and 5,972 total deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health.
This weekend, Florida eclipsed New York State with its second-highest caseload in the US with California in the lead.
The Golden State, led by Gov Gavin Newsom, has reported more than 448,000 cases and 8,429 deaths.
Although the number of new cases was lower, the caseloads reported on Sunday have a tendency to be lower due to the lack of workers entering the data or in labs.
The health department said the average age of coronavirus patients in Florida is 40.
Around 3.4 million Floridians have been tested for the virus and the new cases tested over this weekend had a positive rate of 11 percent, health officials said.
Gov Ron De Santis has been criticized for his handling of the crisis and failing to enact a mask mandate.
“We’re turning this thing back in a good direction,” the Republican governor said earlier this week, reported FHN.
Counties which experienced new deaths included Alachua, Broward, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia and Walton.
The Department of Health recorded 781 COVID-19 deaths over the past week.
This made for an average of 126 daily deaths on Sunday, a slight decrease from Saturday’s weekly average of 127 deaths per day.
As of this afternoon, Florida had 8,951 coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
The deadly surge in-state is compounded by US coronavirus deaths topping 1,000 for the fifth day in a row, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
On Saturday, 1,037 Americans were killed by the virus and 1,019 others on Friday after a 1,140 fatalities s were reported on Thursday, 1,135 on Wednesday and 1,141 on Tuesday.
Outbreaks across The Sun Belt states and midwest have driven the disturbing viral spread.
Well over 4.1 million people have been infected with the virus and more than 146,000 lost their battle with the deadly bug that first emerged in Wuhan, China.
President Donald Trump insisted that his China travel ban was saving lives, however.
“Crazy Nancy Pelosi said I made a mistake when I banned people from infected China from entering the US in January,” he tweeted.
“Tens of thousands of lives were saved, as she danced in the Streets of Chinatown (SF) in late February. [Joe] Biden agreed with her, but soon admitted that I was right!”
Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said life may get back to some semblance of normalcy once a viable vaccine is created and equitably distributed in 2021.
“The timetable you suggested of getting into 2021, well into the year, then I can think with a successful vaccine,” Fauci told CNN’s David Axelrod.
“If we could vaccinate the overwhelming majority of the population – we could start talking about real normality again.
“But it is going to be a gradual process.
“[Vaccine companies promised] they would have doses to the tunes of tens of millions early in the year, and up to hundreds of millions as we get well into 2021.”
Trump recently canceled the GOP Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, citing virus safety reasons.