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Florida surpassed 1 million total coronavirus cases after reporting more than 8,800 new cases on Tuesday morning, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state has also recorded more than 18,600 total deaths, which is the fourth-highest total in the nation, according to CBS News.
Florida is the third state to pass 1 million cases this year, following Texas and California. Those states now have more than 1.2 million cases.
Florida reported nearly 200,000 COVID-19 cases in November, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel . The state will likely remain behind California, which reported 14,000 new cases on Monday, and Texas, which reported 10,700 new cases, the news outlet reported.
Tuesday’s milestone came a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held his first coronavirus press briefing in a month and denounced the idea of additional lockdowns or a mask mandate to prevent the spread of the virus.
“I’m opposed to mandates, period. I don’t think they work,” DeSantis said, emphasizing that lockdowns and school closures are “totally off the table.”
Across the state, however, city officials and health care workers have called for caution around the holidays and social gatherings. Case numbers will likely increase in coming weeks.
“We’re seeing an uptick in cases, but most importantly, we’re seeing a higher percentage of positive tests,” Michael Koren, MD, of the First Coast Heart and Vascular Center, told News4Jax.
“That’s a bad sign,” he added. “And what we’re seeing is that we’ve gone up from 6.2% to about 8.7% during the past week.”
Florida Department of Health, “Current Situation in Florida, updated 9:25 a.m. on December 1, 2020.”
CBS News, “Florida becomes 3rd state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases.”
South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Florida has reported more than 1 million COVID-19 cases since pandemic’s start.”
News4Jax, “Concerns raised over public holiday events as Florida passes 1 million coronavirus cases.”