The Florida Department of Health reported 156 new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, the most yet in a 24-hour period.
The previous high for daily deaths was 132, set on Tuesday. A total of 4,677 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the state.
As of Thursday, Florida had reported 315,775 coronavirus cases, the health department said. That’s an increase of 13,965 cases from the previous day.
A total of 8,626 people are currently hospitalized across the state.
Miami hospitals at 95% capacity, mayor says
Miami hospitals have reached 95% capacity because of the growing Covid-19 pandemic, the city’s mayor, Francis Suarez, told reporters Thursday at a news briefing.
The demographic with the highest infection rate is people between ages 18 and 34, who represent 27% of the population, Suarez said.
“They are going back to the home and infecting everybody in the household,” Suarez said.
Surveys show 33.7% of respondents report being infected by a family member, Suarez said, emphasizing the importance of sanitizing measures at home.
DeSantis says labs may lose contracts
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that some of the private laboratories the state is using to process coronavirus test results may lose their contracts if they don’t provide results within two days.
“We need to get these testing results back in a timely fashion,” DeSantis said at a news conference.
DeSantis also applauded positive results from antibody testing, calling it a “good sign.” Antibody tests determine whether a person had Covid-19 in the past, after the infection is cleared.
“That creates resistance in terms of the ability for the disease to spread,” DeSantis said.
However, researchers including the World Health Organization have repeatedly said there’s no evidence to show that prior infection and developing antibodies make someone immune to future infection.
A Spanish government study suggested that coronavirus antibodies wane after a few weeks.