Florida leads the nation in coronavirus cases, after a massive surge of infections this week.
According to the state Department of Health's most recent report, over 73,000 new cases were reported in the state in the week beginning on July 16. That's up from just over 45,000 new cases the week before. The state also reported 358 COVID-19 deaths in the week, with 148 of those deaths reported on Thursday.
The statewide positivity rate climbed again to 15.1%, up from a low of 3.3% in June. Tallahassee's decision to lessen the frequency of the state's COVID-19 report and remove mask mandates came at a time that the state was hovering around 5% positivity. That number was once the benchmark for the removal of COVID-19 guidelines in Orange County, where the positivity rate is currently 15.6%.
Elsewhere in Central Florida, the picture was even more grim. Volusia County is seeing more than 1 in 5 of their coronavirus tests come back positive. Seminole County isn't far behind with a positivity rate of 19.4%. Osceola County had a rate of 16.5% and Lake County had 17.8%. The upward swing doesn't appear to be slowing and even more cases are likely next week.
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