Florida Tops 200,000 Virus Cases; FDA Chief on GOP Meeting

Florida’s Covid-19 cases rose on Sunday in line with the one-week average, to cross 200,000, as the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was too soon to tell if the Republican convention in Jacksonville will be safe.

Reported cases rose by 10,059, or 5.3%, to 200,111, compared with an average 5.3% in the previous seven days. The Sunshine State set a record with 11,458 cases on Saturday. Deaths reached 3,731, according to the report, which has data through Saturday, up by 29.

The GOP nominating convention originally set for Charlotte was moved to Jacksonville -- including President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech -- after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, disagreed with hosting the Aug. 24-27 event at full scale out of concern of the virus spread.

“I think it’s too early to tell,” Hahn said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, answering a question about safety. “We’ll have to see how this unfolds in Florida and elsewhere around the country.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted returning to a lockdown, but hospitals and local officials in the state are reacting to the rising trend in cases, but local officials have been taking their own steps.

“We’ve been breaking record after record after record the last couple of weeks,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” The city instituted a mask-in-public rule and increased the severity of penalties for businesses that don’t follow the rules, Suarez said.

The city’s famed beaches closed for Independence Day weekend, and the public response has been good, he said, “Obviously, they’re a little bit upset to some extent, but we’ve seen compliance,” Suarez said.

Cumulative hospitalizations rose by 160, or 1%, to 15,735, slowing from the pace from the day before. The median age of patients rose to 36 from 35 the previous day.

In response to steady increases in hospitalizations in Miami-Dade County, Jackson Health System, operator of one of Florida’s biggest hospitals, said last week it would limit inpatient surgeries and procedures to emergency and urgent cases.

The rate of people testing positive for the first time rose to 15% on Saturday, from 14.1% a day earlier.

In Miami-Dade, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals rose 4.9%, the biggest jump in four days, with a 3.8% one-day jump in patients in intensive-care units.

The county had 1,538 patients with the virus in hospitals, an increase of 72 from a day earlier. The total has climbed every day since June 20, when the county began reporting the statistics. In the first five days of July, the county has added 356 patients.

The number of patients in intensive-care unit beds rose to 331 from 319, the 12th straight day of increases. Covid-19 patients on ventilators climbed to 164 from 158 a day earlier, the seventh straight jump, according to the county’s daily report on Sunday, based on self-reporting by hospitals.

The number of available ICU beds rose to to 434 from 433 a day earlier. The county also has 1,336 beds that can be converted into ICU beds, up from 1,334 a day earlier.

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