Florida reported 12,523 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. This was the fifth day in a row that the hot spot state reported more than 10,000 cases, according to the state health ministry.
According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the state has reported an average of more than 11,865 cases of coronavirus in the past seven days, up 28.85% from a week ago. The Florida Department of Health says the virus infected over 350,047 people in the state and killed at least 4,982 people.
The state has reported more than 10,000 new cases a day since Tuesday. In the past ten days, Florida has reported more than 10,000 new cases per day on nine of those days, according to the state health department. On July 11, a record increase of 15,244 new cases was reported.
Hospital stays have also increased in recent weeks. According to Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration, 49 hospitals ran out of adult intensive care units on Sunday.
"The residents here are scared and I am scared for the first time in my career because of lack of leadership," said Florida Rep. Donna Shalala, a Democrat whose district is located in Miami-Dade County, on ABC's "This Week" . "" "It's terrible. We have a community spread, which means the virus has gotten out of control."
The lack of federal and state leadership by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has affected local officials' ability to control the virus, Shalala said. She added that the state had not closed long enough to "starve the virus" and that the governor had refused to issue a nationwide mask regulation.
"In my district, there are low-income minorities: Hispanics and African Americans," she said, "who are forced to work again for economic reasons and because their employers have asked them to work again."
She added that people in their district live in multi-generation households, so those who become infected often pass them on to their older family members.
In the past seven days, the average age of newly infected people in Florida has been over 40 years, according to the state Department of Health. This has been a steady increase since mid-June when Governor Ron DeSantis found that the average age of those tested positive had dropped from 65.5 years in March to 37 years in June and hit a low of 33 years on June 24.
DeSantis has pointed to the lower age of patients as evidence that the state is effectively protecting its most vulnerable residents. Younger people are less likely to become seriously ill and die from Covid-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, as more and more young people become infected with the virus, they appear to have passed it on to older, more vulnerable sections of the population.
"There are more tests now than they did then, so this may be part of it, but I think we're seeing a real increase in cases in older adults, which makes sense given the overall sharp increase in cases," said Cindy Prins epidemiologist the University of Florida said CNBC last week.
Shalala added that hospitalization in Covid-19 has increased steadily, especially in her district in South Florida. She said some hospitals are overwhelmed and patients should worry that they will receive high quality care in the current environment if they get sick and need to be hospitalized.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said earlier this week that the lack of remdesivir, the only drug currently approved in the US to treat Covid-19 and reported in Florida hospitals, is due to a "poor separation" with Trump Government is based on the needs of its state. The Department of Health and Human Services signed a contract with drug manufacturer Gilead to ensure the availability of the drug. However, with the recent increase in cases, hospitals have had difficulty meeting demand.
"We have to close in Florida," said Shalala. "Our economy will not return until we hit this virus and knock it down."