People are tested for COVID-19 in Orlando, Florida on July 8. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

120 people in Florida have died from the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the state's health department reported on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the state's highest daily death toll from the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

Where it stands: Hillsborough, Duval and Orange Counties have joined Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach as the most highly infected areas in the state, according to Florida's health department.

  • Just over 4,000 people have died in Florida and over 17,000 people have been hospitalized.
  • The state reported its highest single-day caseload last week, with 11,405 infections reported on Friday.

What's happening: Florida's education commissioner ordered schools to reopen in August, saying in an emergency order on Monday that they must be open “at least five days per week for all students."

The big picture: Coronavirus deaths are ticking up in the new hotspots of Florida, Texas and Arizona, even as they continue to trend down nationally, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

Go deeper ... Fauci: "False narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2020 - Health

Over 1,000 current and ex-CDC officers decry the "politicization" of the agency

President Trump calls on reporters during a news conference with White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 1,000 current and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemic intelligence officers have signed an open letter, decrying "the ominous politicization" of the agency throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The CDC is typically at the forefront of the U.S. response to public health crises, but the agency has largely been sidelined during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the White House attempting to control messaging, which, at times, contradicts scientific evidence.

Oct 16, 2020 - Health

Davidson freezes college tuition because of COVID-19

Davidson, the private college in North Carolina, will freeze tuition and fees next year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Carol Quillen told students via email.

Why it matters: It's the school's first freeze in 25 years. Davidson has need-blind admission and costs just over $70,000 a year (the school's average financial aid package is roughly $49,000 a year).

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