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Florida surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases

The state has reported more than 10,000 new cases for a fourth straight day as the country sees another surge in the illness.
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Florida surpassed 200,000 coronavirus cases as the state reported another 10,059 new positives on Sunday.

The state has reported more than 10,000 new cases for a fourth straight day as the country sees another surge in the pandemic. Florida is among 11 states where numbers have spiked, at least doubling over the past two weeks.

On Saturday, Florida reported 11,458 new cases of the virus, which breaks its previous records and approaches New York's highest daily tally of 11,571 from April.

New York was considered the epicenter of the coronavirus in the U.S., but has since significantly lowered its cases after extensive lockdown and social distancing measures. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 533 new cases for the state on Sunday, less than 1 percent of the tests performed the day prior.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken heat for his response to the virus, including his early refusal to issue a statewide shutdown of beaches as spring breakers flocked to the state in March. The state shut down bars late last month after “widespread noncompliance” of the state’s reopening guidelines.

DeSantis has yet to issue a statewide face mask order, though he has encouraged residents to wear one and some local governments have issued their own ordinances. Populous areas such as Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Duval and Hillsborough counties have already adopted face mask requirements.

Local governments have issued their own rules to try and slow the spread of the disease, like in Miami-Dade County where a new 10 p.m to 6 a.m. curfew began on Friday. County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez also said he was rolling back the reopening of entertainment venues, including movie theaters, bowling alleys and casinos. The county previously closed its beaches for the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Though Florida’s cases continue to surge, the Republican National Convention is still slated to take place in Jacksonville in late August. President Donald Trump said he was moving the convention from North Carolina after Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, was reluctant to ease COVID-19 restrictions.