Florida Sets a Single-Day U.S. Record with Over 15,000 New Coronavirus Cases
The state also reported 45 more deaths from the novel coronavirus on Saturday
Florida reported a new single-day record of coronavirus cases with over 15,000, according to the state's Department of Health.
As of Sunday, Florida has at least 269,811 confirmed cases in total. The state also reported 45 additional deaths from the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,346.
Florida's spike in COVID-19 cases surpassed its previous single-day record of 11,434, which was set on July 4, by nearly 4,000.
According to the state's Department of Health, nearly 143,000 people were tested on Saturday in Florida with 11.25 percent of the results coming back positive for coronavirus. That number is lower than the 18.35 percent of people who tested positive in the state on Wednesday.
As Florida's COVID-19 numbers continue to soar, hospitals in the state have become overridden with patients and are struggling to keep up. As of July 7, 56 hospitals in Florida have reached capacity in intensive care units, and an additional 35 hospital ICUs have 10 percent availability or less.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN that most of the county's hospital beds and intensive care units have reached capacity with patients. "Our ventilator usage has gone up, close to 200 now, so we definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital,” Gimenez said.
On July 9, Florida reported 120 new COVID-19 deaths, more than two times the seven-day average and significantly higher than the state's previous record of 83 deaths from April 28.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a warning to Americans about how the numbers could get much higher if the coronavirus continues to spread at this rate.
“I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around,” Fauci said while testifying at Senate hearings in June. “And so I am very concerned.”
“I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing,” he added. “I will guarantee you that because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.