State’s COVID-19 cases rising fast since DeSantis OK’d Phase 2 reopening plan

COVID-19 cases across Florida clearly are on the rise since Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Phase 2 of the state’s plan to reopen amid the pandemic.

Since the governor made the announcement on June 3 that bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades and auditoriums could begin to reopen with 50 percent capacity, strict sanitation guidelines and social distancing rules in place, Florida has seen a four-digit increase in the number of Coronavirus cases on all but one day, which just fell short of hitting the 1,000 mark.

Statistics provided by the Florida Department of Health show that since DeSantis made the announcement, 11,622 new COVID-19 patients have been identified across the Sunshine State. The breakdown by day is as follows:

  • Wednesday, June 3: 58,764, increase of 1,317;
  • Thursday, June 4: 60,183, increase of 1,419;
  • Friday, June 5: 61,488, increase of 1,305;
  • Saturday, June 6: 62,758, increase of 1,270;
  • Sunday, June 7: 63,938, increase of 1,180;
  • Monday, June 8: 64,904, increase of 966;
  • Tuesday, June 9: 66,000, increase of 1,096;
  • Wednesday, June 10: 67,371, increase of 1,371; and
  • Thursday, June 11: 69,069, increase of 1,698.

Locally, the increase didn’t seem to be as extreme until Thursday when the tri-county area reported a spike of 19 new cases. All told, the local area has added 96 new COVID-19 patients since the Phase Two reopening announcement. The tri-county breakdown is as follows:

  • Wednesday, June 3: 824, increase of 8;
  • Thursday, June 4: 834, increase of 10;
  • Friday, June 5: 850, increase of 16;
  • Saturday, June 6: 856, increase of 6;
  • Sunday, June 7: 869, increase of 13;
  • Monday, June 8: 879, increase of 10;
  • Tuesday, June 9: 887, increase of 8;
  • Wednesday, June 10: 893, increase of 6; and
  • Thursday, June 11: 912, increase of 19.

All told, 81 Villages residents have been identified with COVID-19, with another 32 cases in Summerfield, 19 in Oxford, 18 in Lady Lake, nine in Wildwood, six in Fruitland Park and six in the Sumter County portion of Lady Lake. Other communities surrounding Florida’s Friendliest Hometown that have reported cases include Ocala (206), Bushnell (122), Clermont (109), Leesburg (48), Eustis (40), Tavares (23), Lake Panasoffkee (22), Mount Dora (22), Groveland (20), Belleview (9), Webster (8), Sumterville (5), Ocklawaha (4) and Coleman (3).

As of Thursday, more than 2 million COVID-19 cases had been reported across the country, with 113,561 deaths. It remains to be seen if those numbers will greatly increase after large groups have gathered for several days to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Many of those protesters and rioters could be seen without masks and social distancing guidelines clearly weren’t being followed.

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