A deserted beach can be seen before the July 4 vacation weekend in Miami Beach, Miami on July 3, 2020.
Florida reported at least 11,445 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, which, according to the Florida Department of Health, is the largest number of daily cases in the state to date.
The virus has infected more than 190,000 people in the state and at least 3,700 people have died. New cases in Florida have increased by 67% on average over seven days.
Florida reported on Saturday that 14.1% of people tested for the virus were positive, well above the 5% threshold that the World Health Organization recommends as a safe level for governments to reopen stores. Those who tested positive in Florida tend to be younger and have an average age of 35 from Saturday.
Although Florida deaths from the virus have remained on a downward trend, General Surgeon Dr. Jerome Adams warned that deaths lag behind new cases and that a clearer picture may take two weeks or more.
Even though Florida reports record numbers, Governor Ron DeSantis has said he will not close the shops and has repeatedly refused to issue a nationwide mask mandate to curb the spread of the virus, although the Governor has indicated that Florida will not move forward with his reopening plan for now.
Florida comprises approximately 20% of new cases in the United States that occur in the American South and West. The nation reported more than 52,000 new cases on Friday, exceeding 50,000 for the third day in a row. The White House Health Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned this week that new cases could exceed 100,000 a day.
Local governments in Florida are taking more aggressive measures. The counties Miami-Dade and Broward announced that they would close the beaches for the July 4th vacation weekend. Miami-Dade, Florida's most populous county, has also issued an overnight curfew from 10 p.m. until further notice until 6 a.m. and closes some stores that reopened in June.
"This curfew is designed to prevent people from grouping with friends, which has shown that the virus is spreading rapidly," said Mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, in a statement.
Miami-Dade and Broward have also announced orders that people must wear face masks in public.
Vice President Mike Pence, who visited Tampa on Thursday, praised Florida's governor for his "innovative" response to the pandemic, saying Florida is "a much better place" to fight the current outbreak. Pence postponed campaign events in Florida due to the increase in positive cases. The Trump administration has rejected calls to the federal government to order masks to be worn nationwide.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled for late August in Jacksonville, Florida, although fundraisers in Jacksonville have determined that donor funds will be put on hold due to concerns about the rise in coronavirus cases.
Infectious diseases specialist Aileen Marty warned Friday that Florida is "a million miles an hour wrong in the wrong direction" when it comes to dealing with the pandemic, and that residents are not following public health guidelines to slow the spread.
"It's absolutely the saddest thing, the most unnecessary situation we're in," Marty said in an interview with "CBS This Morning." "And it's behavioral."
The United States has reported more than 2.7 million infections since the pandemic struck the nation and at least 129,509 deaths have occurred.