TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida saw record increases in coronavirus cases on Thursday, officials say.
Exactly one month after May 4, when the state started Phase One of reopening, Florida reported it has had more than 61,450 confirmed cases of the virus.
In Thursday’s update, however, 1,419 new cases of the virus were added to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. That’s the largest daily increase since the state began tracking the spread of COVID-19.
Still, as testing increases and becomes more readily available through the state, the Florida Department of Health says only 5.4 percent of the 1,135,865 tests were positive.
By Friday, individuals with the most positive cases were between the ages of 45 and 65, with more than 10,000 positive cases in the state.
Not far behind that were individuals aged 25 to 34. That age group accounts for 9,552 of Florida’s positive cases of coronavirus.
But Hillsborough County specifically reports 427 individuals aged 25 to 34 with COVID-19, more cases than any other age group. Hillsborough County has a total of 2,493 coronavirus patients, the most positive cases of all the counties in the Tampa Bay area.
The question now is if the age distribution will shift as the state continues to reopen and protests continue. The protests are largely comprised of millennials – the generation aged 26 to 40 – and Gen Z, people aged 5 to 25.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and a key member of the president’s coronavirus task force, has spent the week warning about the risk involved with large gatherings of any kind.
“Pictures, photos and TV clips of people very much congregated, no masks together, very closely congregated on a boardwalk, on a beach, in a pool, has been and continues to be a concern to me,” Fauci said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“The increase in number of positive cases is a result of Florida’s greatly expanded efforts in testing for COVID-19,” said the Florida Department of Health on Friday.
“The state continues to expand its testing capacity and accessibility, to ensure that anyone who needs a COVID-19 test, gets a test. The Department of Health is working to ensure that the underserved communities have access to testing. As more testing is done, there will be an increase of positive cases of COVID-19. However, it’s important to note that while testing has increased, the overall positivity rate remains low. As of June 4, the positivity rate was approximately 3.3%.”