States Shatter Coronavirus Records As Officials Eye Holiday Weekend With Alarm
The grim news has taken no respite this Fourth of July.
On Saturday, just as residents across the country celebrated the holiday, state authorities once more reported a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases. Florida and South Carolina on Saturday both reported passing their previous single-day highs, while Alabama, Texas and a slew of others continued to reel from recent records of their own.
In Florida on Friday alone, there were more than 11,400 newly confirmed cases of the virus. That sum shatters a record that was set in the state just a couple of days ago — around the same time that the U.S. as a whole recorded the world's highest-ever daily tally, with more than 55,000.
In a desperate bid to curtail the latest spike in the statewide caseload, local leaders in Florida implemented a slew of measures to tamp down the weekend's usual holiday festivities. Miami-Dade County, for one, has instituted a curfew beginning at 10 p.m. "until further notice," while beaches across much of South Florida are closed.
The state is far from alone in its intensifying fight with COVID-19. In Texas, hospitals in both Starr and Hidalgo counties have reported reaching full capacity, and officials there are pleading with residents to simply stay home this weekend.
"I urge all of our residents," Starr County Judge Eloy Vera said on Facebook, "to please shelter-in-place, wear face coverings, practice social distancing and AVOID GATHERINGS."
Florida and Texas are just a couple of the places rolling back reopening plans and scrambling to implement new restrictions or reinstate old ones. Rules mandating that residents wear masks in public places have taken effect in cities from Cincinnati and Cleveland to Boise, Idaho.