Florida could become next coronavirus epicenter, model shows


Florida — which has recently seen a spike in coronavirus cases — could become the next epicenter of the pandemic, according to a new model.

Projections revealed Wednesday in a model put together by a team of scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania indicate that the Sunshine State has “all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission,” and risks being the “worst it has ever been,” CNN reported.

The Florida Department of Health said the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 2,610 between Tuesday and Wednesday as the virus spreads and more people are tested statewide, WTVT reported.

In total, Florida has tallied 82,719 coronavirus infections — 80,676 of whom are Florida residents while 2,043 are non-Florida residents currently in the state, according to the report.

The number of deaths rose by 25 between Tuesday and Wednesday, reaching a total toll of 3,018.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has attributed the state’s recent increases to the testing of “high-risk” individuals like farmworkers in rural counties, as well as prisoners, and residents of long-term-care facilities — but he mentioned separately that long-term-care cases were flat, according to the report.
Beachgoers take advantage of the opening of South Beach on June 10.Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The state saw its highest number of new confirmed cases in a single day on Monday — recording nearly 2,800 new infections, WBBH-TV reported.

But DeSantis has said the state will not shut down, according to the report.

Prior to the spike, the state had averaged just over 700 new cases per day in the last 30 days — a level that the health care system could manage, DeSantis said, according to WTVT.

Diane, a nurse from Houston, Texas, sunbathes at the beach next to her husband, both wearing face masks, in Miami Beach, Florida.


Alexeen Simms, a server at the Hungry Tarpon Restaurant in Islamorada, Florida, provides a luncheon entree to a couple.

Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bu

Guests required to wear masks because of the coronavirus pandemic stroll through the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment complex Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

AP/John Raoux

Joseph and Julia Salvaggio, vacationers from Long Island, enjoy a glass of wine at the Wild Sea Oyster Bar and Grille in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

AP/Lynne Sladky

Bartender Kat DeLaTorre stands with her son Nico, 12, during a “Right to Work” rally outside of the Elbo Room bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

AP/Lynne Sladky

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And while the number of new cases has trended up, the number of deaths has appeared to decrease, though delays in data reporting make that interpretation less reliable, the outlet reported.

Florida joins nine other states — Alabama, Arizona, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas — that are seeing record-high seven-day averages of new coronavirus cases per day, a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University reveals.

Twenty-one states are seeing an upward trend in new cases, as health experts continue to emphasize the importance of taking precautions to mitigate the spread, according to the report.


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