ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida reported 21,683 new instances of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day complete because the begin of the pandemic, in keeping with federal well being information launched Saturday, as its theme park resorts once more began asking guests to put on masks indoors.
The state has develop into the brand new nationwide epicenter for the virus, accounting for round a fifth of all new instances within the U.S. because the extremely contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to unfold.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted obligatory masks mandates and vaccine necessities, and together with the state Legislature, has restricted native officers’ skill to impose restrictions meant to cease the unfold of COVID-19. DeSantis on Friday barred faculty districts from requiring college students to put on masks when courses resume subsequent month.
The newest numbers have been recorded on Friday and launched on Saturday on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s web site. The figures present how shortly the variety of instances is rising within the Sunshine State: solely a day earlier, Florida reported 17,093 new day by day instances. The earlier peak in Florida had been 19,334 instances reported on Jan. 7, earlier than the supply of vaccinations grew to become widespread.
The state reported 409 deaths this week, bringing the whole to greater than 39,000 since its first in March 2020. The state’s peak occurred in mid-August 2020, when 1,266 folks died over a seven-day interval. Deaths often observe will increase in hospitalizations by a number of weeks.
DeSantis has blamed the surge on a seasonal enhance — extra Floridians are indoors due to the new climate with air con circulating the virus. About 60% of Floridians 12 and older are vaccinated, rating it about halfway among the many states.
The Florida Hospital Affiliation mentioned Friday that statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing final 12 months’s peak, and one of many state’s largest well being care techniques, AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, this week suggested it could not be conducting nonemergency surgical procedures in an effort to unencumber sources for COVID-19 sufferers.
Common Orlando Resort and SeaWorld on Saturday grew to become the most recent theme park resorts in Florida to once more ask guests to put on masks indoors, with Common additionally ordering its workers to put on face coverings to guard towards COVID-19, which has been surging throughout the state.
All employees at Common’s Florida park on Saturday began being required to put on masks whereas indoors as the staff returned to working towards social distancing. The house to Harry Potter and Despicable Me rides additionally requested guests to observe federal and native well being pointers by voluntarily carrying face coverings indoors.
“The well being and security of our visitors and crew members is at all times our prime precedence,” Common mentioned in a press release.
Well being officers on Friday introduced that coronavirus instances in Florida had jumped 50% over the previous week with COVID-19 hospitalizations within the state nearing final 12 months’s peak.
SeaWorld on Saturday posted on its web site that it was recommending that guests observe not too long ago up to date federal suggestions and put on face coverings whereas indoors.
The change in coverage this week on the theme park resorts got here after the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention really helpful that everybody put on masks indoors, no matter vaccination standing.
Crosstown rival Walt Disney World began requiring workers and visitors older than 2 to put on masks on Friday, nevertheless it additionally went a step additional. The Walt Disney Co. mentioned in a press release that it will likely be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly workers within the U.S. who work on website to be totally vaccinated.
Disney workers who aren’t already vaccinated could have 60 days to take action and people nonetheless working from residence might want to present proof of vaccination earlier than returning. Disney mentioned it was discussing the vaccine necessities with the union, and added that each one new hires will probably be required to be totally vaccinated earlier than beginning work on the firm.