The United States has now recorded more than 3.3million confirmed coronavirus infections as of July 12, as well as more than 135,000 official deaths, making it the hardest-hit country in the global pandemic. On Saturday, Florida’s Department of Health reported at least 15,299 new coronavirus infections, the highest number of new cases in a day by any state since the pandemic began.
The state’s death toll also surged by 45 people as the state surpassed 500 deaths from the disease last week.
The test positivity rate, which shows how easily the virus can be transmitted, reached 19.6 percent as of Sunday, data by Johns Hopkins University shows.
US Rep Donna Shalala said areas like Miami are edging closer to going into lockdown again.
She said: ”This is an American tragedy. It’s out of control across the state because our governor won’t even tell everybody to wear masks.”
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told CNN on Sunday that hospitals in the city are nearing full capacity.
Mr Gelber said: “We’re going to have to start moving regular beds into ICU beds. We’re clearly being strained at this point.”
He said he is frustrated by the approach by the federal and state governments to tackle the crisis.
He added: “There’s a total disconnect between what is happening and what is being said out of Washington and even Tallahassee, unfortunately, and what is happening in some of these communities right here.”
The reopening of states, paired with the Memorial Day holiday on May 25 resulted in a surge in the number of hospitalisations in at least a dozen states around two weeks after the holiday weekend.
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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp criticised Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ plans to move the city’s lockdown lifting back to phase 1, which means only essential travel is allowed.
He said it was “merely guidance – both non-binding and legally unenforceable.”
Gov Kemp took to Twitter to comment on the move, writing: “As clearly stated in my executive orders, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide.”
Ms Bottoms defended her stance, saying the state lifted its restrictions carelessly and that residents were “suffering the consequences.”
She also referenced higher rates of patients in hospital with the disease and a higher death toll, both locally and statewide.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan on Friday said health officials in the state reported that several people tested positive for the virus “after attending the festivities at the Torch Lake sandbar over the Fourth of July holiday.”