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Nurses bring a portable x-ray machine to a treatment tent outside the emergency department at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida, set up to serve as an overflow area as the number of COVID-19 infections surges throughout Brevard County. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida reported Sunday that 10,207 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized — the most in the state since the pandemic began, per AP.

Why it matters: The report comes a day after the CDC released data showing Florida confirmed a state record 21,683 new coronavirus cases in one day.

The big picture: Florida is now the U.S. coronavirus epicenter, with the Delta variant driving a surge, Axios Tampa Bay's Ben Montgomery notes.

  • Hospitalizations and deaths from the virus among the unvaccinated are increasing.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has taken a stand against local authority restrictions, announcing in May that he would pardon "any Floridian" who faces "outstanding infractions" for violating COVID-19 guidance like mask mandates and social distancing.

  • On Friday, he issued an executive order that bars local school districts from requiring students to wear masks when they return to the classroom next month.

Of note: The previous COVID hospitalizations record was set on July 23, 2020, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

  • The new cases record released by the CDC occurred on Friday. The state recorded 17,093 new cases Thursday, according to the CDC.
  • Both previous peaks occurred before vaccinations were rolled out en masse.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the hospitalizations data.

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Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay — Moderna suggests booster shots, citing clinical data.
  2. Health: 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising — Study: Gaps in data on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders alarming amid COVID.
  3. Politics: Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers — Axios-Ipsos poll: 60% of voters back Biden vaccine mandates.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
23 hours ago - Health

1 in 500 Americans has died of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: CDC and U.S. Census Bureau; Table: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The U.S. has reached a grim pandemic milestone: More than 1 in 500 Americans has died of COVID-19, according to the latest available data.

Why it matters: The rising death toll highlights the continued effects of the Delta variant and the ongoing struggle to get Americans vaccinated.

By the numbers: The total number of COVID-19 deaths recorded in the United States is 665,496 as of 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, according to reporting by Johns Hopkins University.

  • 30.1% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. involved individuals ages 85 and older as of Wednesday, despite only making up 2% of cases and an equal portion of the population.
Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Sep 15, 2021 - News

Where Des Moines metro schools stand on masks after Iowa ban blocked

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Des Moines metro schools are relying on guidance from their boards for how they should move forward after Iowa's law banning mask mandates in schools was blocked by a federal judge.

Driving the news: The judge's temporary restraining order issued Monday means schools can decide for themselves once again if they want to require students and staff to wear masks.

  • Gov. Kim Reynolds condemned the decision, saying it ignores parental choice.