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Florida's new coronavirus cases break record, nearly tying New York's peak

Florida reported 11,458 new coronavirus cases Saturday, its highest daily tally yet, nearly tying New York's high of 11,571 in April.
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Florida shattered its single-day record for new coronavirus cases, nearly tying New York state's peak daily count set in April.

Florida on Saturday reported 11,458 new cases of the virus, which breaks its previous records and approaches New York's highest daily tally of 11,571 in April, according to NBC Miami and the New York State Department of Health.

New York's peak was the highest one-day tally in the nation so far, according to MarketWatch.

In Florida, nearly all of the new cases, 11,445, were among state residents.

The state is among 11 where numbers have spiked, at least doubling over the past two weeks. The other states, mostly in the South and West, are: Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas, according to an NBC News analysis.

The U.S. as a whole reported 53,213 new cases, its second day in a row with a tally exceeding 50,000, according to the World Health Organization. The country has over 2.7 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 128,481 deaths, the WHO reported.

In Florida, Miami-Dade County's efforts to slow the spread of the virus include a new curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. that began Friday night. County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez also said he was rolling back the reopening of entertainment venues, including movie theaters, bowling alleys and casinos under county control. The county previously closed its beaches for the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, the state's governor, Ron DeSantis, a Republican, is encouraging people to wear face coverings but has not made it a requirement.

DeSantis' communications director, Helen Aguirre Ferre, said in an email that the growth in cases in the state was in part because Florida has also hit a new record in the number of tests performed: 85,086. The percentage of those receiving positive results remained constant at 14 percent, she said.

Image: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looks on prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida on June 14, 2020.Michael Reaves / Getty Images

The governor's office noted that most Floridians already live under a mask mandate, as populous counties like Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Duval and Hillsborough have already adopted such requirements.

"Governor DeSantis continues to stress the importance of personal responsibility in helping defeat COVID," Ferre said in the email. "Florida has launched public service announcements, in both English and Spanish, emphasizing the importance of wearing a facial covering and avoiding the '3 c’s': crowded spaces, closed spaces, and close-contact spaces."

Ten Democratic lawmakers urged DeSantis on Friday to mandate mask-wearing for all of Florida, according to NBC Miami.

“In watching the devastation that COVID-19 is causing in our communities," the Orlando Sentinel reported the lawmakers wrote to the governor, "we strongly recommend that the State of Florida implement a mandatory use of face covering over the nose and mouth while in a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible."