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

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Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.

Updated 17 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios VisualsThe

The Philippines' economy sunk into recession as its gross domestic product shrank 16.5% in the second quarter — marking the lowest reading since 1981, official figures show.

The big picture: Millions of Filipinos went on lockdown Tuesday as cases surged past 106,300, with stay-at-home orders in place for two weeks in Manila and nearby provinces on the island of Luzon, per the BBC. The economy's contraction is the "deepest" on record, Bloomberg notes.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.