- Florida’s health department recorded 3,266 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a massive jump from 738 new daily cases it recorded on Monday.
- Florida’s cases had been declining, but Tuesday marked the highest single-day total since September 19, bringing the state’s total count to 704,568.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and small businesses at the end of last week.
- Reports showed large crowds gathering throughout the state over the weekend.
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Health officials in Florida reported 3,266 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up from the previous day’s new case tally of 738, bringing the state’s total case count to 704,568.
Officials also reported 106 new deaths, bringing the state’s total to 14,313 since March.
Despite being a coronavirus hotspot for most of the summer, Florida had seen a decline in cases during most of September and hadn’t seen more than 3,000 cases in a single day since September 19, when it recorded 3,573 new cases.
The state’s rate of new tests that are positive is 10.7%, an increase from the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins.
Tuesday’s spike comes just days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday issued an order allowing the total reopening of all restaurants and businesses and eliminating fines for those refusing to wear masks. Media reports showed large crowds gathering throughout the state over the weekend. Though, it’s unclear if the recent spike has a direct correlation with the openings.
DeSantis’ order and overall response to the pandemic have been met with backlash as the coronavirus continues to spread statewide. Florida was one of the last states to announce a state-at-home order, with DeSantis making the announcement April 1 when several other states had already implemented them in March.
A July poll found that DeSantis’ popularity dropped quickly due to his handling of the pandemic, with 49% of Florida voters saying they disapproved of his performance, compared to 62% the previous year.