Florida starts 2021 with average of 15,759 coronavirus cases per day – Tampa Bay Times

Florida starts 2021 with average of 15,759 coronavirus cases per day – Tampa Bay Times

Florida is beginning 2021 the same way it ended 2020: With coronavirus cases surging at a record rate.

The state announced Saturday 31,518 new cases of the coronavirus. The data is a two-day total, because the Florida Department of Health didn’t release data on Jan. 1. While the state did not differentiate case numbers by day, the total cases would equate to a daily average of 15,759.

Only one previous day since the start of the pandemic had eclipsed 15,500 cases in a single day: New Year’s Eve, when the state reported 17,192 cases. The date with the next highest case totals — and the only other day to break 15,000 in Florida — was on July 12.

Saturday’s case total brought Florida’s seven-day average of reported cases to 12,892 — the highest it has been since the first publicly announced infection in March.

Despite surging cases of the deadly virus, packed New Year’s Eve celebrations were seen across the Tampa Bay area on Friday.

Related: New Year’s Eve parties crowded Tampa Bay on same day Florida broke coronavirus record

Jay Wolfson, senior associate dean of USF’s Morsani College of Medicine, said Thursday that he doesn’t anticipate numbers improving before February.

Hillsborough County accounted for 2,354 of Florida’s new coronavirus cases released Saturday. Pinellas County reported 1,335 new cases, while Pasco County had 702 and Hernando County 278.

Florida has now confirmed a total of 1,354,833 cases. There were also 217 new resident
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