Coronavirus: Florida surpasses previous state record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

Florida’s coronavirus surge continued Sunday as the number of confirmed cases of the virus broke the state’s previous record set more than a year ago before a vaccine was widely available.

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There were 10,207 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, according to information reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Associated Press reported.

The previous record of 10,170 hospitalizations was recorded July 23, 2020. This was more than a half-year before vaccinations were made available.

Florida leads the country in per capita hospitalizations. In the past week, Florida has averaged 1,525 adult hospitalizations a day and 35 daily pediatric hospitalizations.

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Hospitals around the state are putting emergency room visitors in beds in hallways. Medical professionals also have reported a noticeable drop in age of patients.

In June, the state ended its daily reporting of virus cases, citing decreasing infections. Cases started increasing soon after. There is no statewide mask requirement. In July, Gov. Ron DeSantis permanently invalidated local coronavirus restrictions that had been suspended in May, The New York Times reported.

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Theme parks, grocery stores and other retailers have started to require employees, and in some cases guests, to wear masks again.

The state is considered a virus hot spot, with infection numbers accounting for a fifth of all new cases in the country.

The state has recorded more than 2.5 million confirmed cases and 39,079 deaths because of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to The New York Times.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.