Updated Aug 2, 2021 - News

Florida sets new COVID hospitalization record as cases spike

Nurses bring a portable x-ray machine to a treatment tent outside the emergency department at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Fla., July 29
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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