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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Tampa Bay region may be looking at some increased pandemic restrictions, though they're unlikely to come from the state government.

What's happening: Friday was Florida's worst day yet for coronavirus, with the state reporting 21,683 new cases — the highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

  • The last time we came near that number was at the start of the year, when the state reported 19,334 cases on Jan. 7, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Local impact: USF epidemiologist Dr. Edwin Michael told Fox 13 that, at this rate, the fourth wave will peak in Hillsborough County near the end of the month with about four times the rate of daily infections from the January spike.

  • Even though people are still getting vaccinated, the only thing we can do to slow the spread, Michael said, is to bring back social measures, like masks and distancing.

Remember: Most of the people getting sick from COVID are unvaccinated adults.

  • Of the 164 million vaccinated Americans, 0.077% have tested positive for breakthrough infections and just 0.001% have died, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez and Danielle Alberti report.

State of play: While Gov. Ron DeSantis has been dismissive of Florida's position as America's COVID epicenter, calling the recent spike a "seasonal wave," businesses are starting to change course on their policies.

  • Over the weekend, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld followed Disney World in asking visitors to wear masks indoors again. Universal is also ordering employees to mask up indoors.
  • On Friday, Publix reinstated its mask requirement for employees, vaccinated or not, per the Bradenton Herald.
  • Event cancellations are back too. Minor league baseball games were canceled in Clearwater over the weekend, Ballpark Digest reports.
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Go deeper

United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo: James D. Morgan via Getty Images

United Airlines said Wednesday that over 97% of its U.S.-based employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: United announced in August that it would require its 67,000 U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 27 or face termination. It's one of several airlines that set vaccine requirements even before President Biden issued his own vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 workers.

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up — Team USA to mandate vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls — U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world.
  2. Health: Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 21, 2021 - Health

D.C. school employees required to get vaccinated

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images

All D.C. school and daycare employees — public, private, and charter — must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 with no option to test out, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced today.

  • Student athletes over the age of 12 will also be required to get vaccinated in order to participate in after-school programs, the mandate says.