MIAMI — Florida recorded its fourth highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began 16 months ago, reporting 17,589 new cases Wednesday to the federal government and deepening the state’s exposure to the virulent delta variant.
This is the eighth consecutive day Florida has reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 12,000 new daily COVID cases. On June 28 — one month ago — Florida reported only 1,312 new COVID cases, a 1,241% increase to the July 28 level of 17,589 cases, according to the CDC.
Florida, which represents about 6.5% of the U.S. population, is accounting for about 20.4% of the country’s new cases, based on the data the state is reporting to the CDC. The state also reported 56 new deaths.
The high caseloads — and the most severe cases — are primarily due to unvaccinated individuals contracting the virus, public health experts say, calling it a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
The state’s three highest days of new COVID cases, preceding Wednesday’s totals, all occurred during Florida’s peak in January: 19,816 cases on Jan. 7; 19,530 cases on Jan. 8; and 17,783 cases recorded on Jan. 6, according to state data.
January was the worst month of the Florida pandemic, with daily case counts routinely topping 10,000. That followed a surge last July, when daily case counts also topped 10,000.
The latter half of July 2021 has been Florida’s third COVID-19 surge.
Florida’s 7-day percent positivity rate climbed to 17.21% on Monday, up from 16.79% on Sunday, the state reported to the federal agency.
Cumulatively, Florida has recorded at least 2,551,923 confirmed COVID cases statewide and 38,896 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the CDC.
More than 12.2 million Floridians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or about 57.2% of the state’s total population, according to the Florida’s weekly COVID reports. About 49% of Florida’s total population is fully vaccinated, in line with the U.S average.