(CNN) — The Florida Department of Health reported 15,299 new Covid-19 cases Sunday, the highest number of new cases reported in a single day by any state since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The previous record — also set by Florida — came on July 4, with 11,434 new cases reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The test positivity rate in Florida is 19.60%, according to JHU statistics.
With coronavirus cases climbing across the US, local and state leaders have found themselves at odds over the types of restrictions that should be in place to move forward effectively.
In Florida, Rep. Donna Shalala said the virus is still out of control and places like Miami are edging closer to shutting down for a second time.
“It’s out of control across the state because our governor won’t even tell everybody to wear masks. At least in Miami-Dade county, everyone must wear a mask when they’re outside,” she told CNN Saturday night.
“This is an American tragedy,” she added.
In the past weeks, the state broke multiple records of single-day highs in new cases and reported another 10,360 new infections Saturday. Around 40 hospitals across the state have no ICU beds available and more than 7,000 patients are hospitalized statewide with the virus, state data showed Saturday.
But Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted implementing a state-wide mask mandate, saying last week the state has “stabilized where we’re at.” On Saturday, he suggested Florida would not be moving on to the next reopening phase for now, saying “we want to get this positivity rate down.”
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp slammed the Atlanta mayor’s decision to move the city’s reopening back to phase 1, saying the action was “merely guidance — both non-binding and legally unenforceable.” Phase 1 includes an order for residents to stay home except for essential trips. The mayor, who has tested positive for Covid-19, defended her decision saying the state opened recklessly and residents were “suffering the consequences.”
“As clearly stated in my executive orders, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide,” Kemp wrote on Twitter.
The debates are part of nationwide efforts by US leaders to control a now rapid spread of coronavirus without having to force residents into a second lockdown. More than half of US states have paused or rolled back their reopening plans in hopes of slowing down new cases. But both mandates and suggestions for face masks by officials still face heavy backlash by many Americans — even as experts warn they’re the most effective way to prevent further spread of the virus.
Now deep into the coronavirus crisis, the US is reporting more than 3.2 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s more than the individual population of 21 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico, according to US Census Bureau data. At least 134,814 Americans have died.