MIAMI—Florida is recording more Covid-19 cases than any other U.S. state, as hospitalizations in some areas increase at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic.
The state accounts for one in five new infections in the U.S. and logged 73,181 cases over the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida had 341 cases per 100,000 people over the past week, second only to Louisiana. The weekly total of new cases reported by Florida jumped more than fourfold between July 1 and July 22, reaching its highest point since mid-January.
Deaths in Florida totaled 319 over the past week, the most among states, with a rate of 1.5 per 100,000 people, the fourth-highest, according to the CDC.
Epidemiologists say various factors are at play: large numbers of unvaccinated people, a relaxation of preventive measures like mask-wearing and social distancing, the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and the congregation of people indoors during hot summer months.
“All of those things together are a recipe for the data that we’re seeing,” said Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida. “It’s a cause for concern…the speed with which the indicators are going up.”