CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. —
Florida reported 21,683 new circumstances of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day whole for the reason that begin of the pandemic, in keeping with federal well being knowledge launched Saturday, as its theme park resorts once more began asking guests to put on masks indoors.
The state has change into the brand new nationwide epicenter for the virus, accounting for round a fifth of all new circumstances 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’ capability 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 had 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 circumstances is rising within the Sunshine State: solely a day earlier, Florida reported 17,093 new day by day circumstances. The earlier peak in Florida had been 19,334 circumstances reported on Jan. 7, earlier than the supply of vaccinations turned widespread.
The state reported 409 deaths this week, bringing the overall 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 just a few 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 will not be conducting nonemergency surgical procedures so as to release assets for COVID-19 sufferers.
Common Orlando Resort and SeaWorld on Saturday turned the newest theme park resorts in Florida to once more ask guests to put on masks indoors, with Common additionally ordering its staff to put on face coverings to guard in opposition to 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 training social distancing. The house to Harry Potter and Despicable Me rides additionally requested guests to observe federal and native well being tips by voluntarily carrying face coverings indoors.
“The well being and security of our friends and workforce members is all the time our prime precedence,” Common mentioned in a press release.
Well being officers on Friday introduced that coronavirus circumstances 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 staff and friends 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 is going to be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly staff within the U.S. who work on website to be absolutely vaccinated.
Disney staff who aren’t already vaccinated can have 60 days to take action and people nonetheless working from dwelling 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 can be required to be absolutely vaccinated earlier than beginning work on the firm.