11-year-old boy becomes Florida's youngest coronavirus victim as state logs record 10,000 cases in one day

Alex Woodward
Getty Images
Getty Images

Florida health officials have reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases in the state, the highest single-day spike in the state since the onset of the outbreak that has infected more than 2.7 million Americans. More than 128,000 patients have died.

The state also saw its youngest Covid-19-related fatality, following the death of an 11-year-old boy in Miami-Dade County, according to state health officials. Florida's death toll has reached more than 3,600.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis – speaking alongside Vice President Mike Pence, who was visiting the state on Thursday – has not committed to rolling back Florida's reopening despite surging case numbers.

Despite climbing numbers and worrying hospitalisation rates, Mr Pence claimed that the US is "in a much better place" and that officials don't have to "choose between opening up America and the health of our people."

Florida, with a population of 21 million people, is the second state to record more than 10,000 cases in a single day, next to New York, which has a population of nearly 20 million and saw more than 12,000 cases on 10 April. That state has since contained a rise in cases to 6 per cent, the lowest in the nation, after emerging as a global epicentre amid the pandemic.

Next month, Jacksonville, Florida will host the Republican National Convention, which moved the event from North Carolina following Donald Trump's dispute over distancing and mask requirements. But city officials in Jacksonville issued a mandate this week requiring residents remain physically distanced and wear face coverings in public.

In June, Florida infections rose by 168 percent, or nearly 100,000 new cases, with positive tests spiking to 15 per cent, up from 4 per cent, at the end of May.

Several other states recorded their highest single-day reports of new Covid-19 cases in recent days as the US saw nearly 50,000 new cases on Wednesday, the fifth single-day record within a week.

Arkansas, Georgia, Montana, South Carolina and Tennessee also reported their highest single-day new coronavirus case counts on Thursday.

Governor DeSantis has closed bars and beaches but has not issued a statewide mandate for residents to wear face coverings in public. Several cities have required residents to wear masks in public.

On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered residents to wear face coverings in public as the state reported more than 8,000 new cases on Wednesday, the state's largest spike since the onset of the outbreak.

Arizona also has mandated face coverings in the state after it reported nearly 4,000 cases this week, another largest single-day spike.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert leading the federal response to the crisis, told a Senate committee this week that Americans "need to emphasise the responsibility that we have both as individuals and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic."

"We've got to get that message out, that we are all in this together," he said. "Anything that favours the use of masks -- whether it's giving out free masks or any other mechanism -- I am thoroughly in favour of."

The president also appeared to reverse his public posturing on masks after dismissing federal guidance in April.

"I don't know if you need mandatory," the president told Fox Business Network on Wednesday. "I'm all for masks. I think masks are good."

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