Arizona recorded more coronavirus deaths, infections, hospitalizations, and emergency-room visits in a single day than ever before Wednesday. The surge is part of a crisis across the Sunbelt that has sent a shudder through other parts of the country and led distant states to put their own reopening plans on hold, the AP reports. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence is traveling to Arizona, where cases have spiked since stay-at-home orders expired in mid-May. Arizona reported record single-day highs of almost 4,900 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 88 new deaths, close to 1,300 ER visits and a running total of nearly 2,900 people in the hospital. Pence will meet Gov. Doug Ducey but no public appearances are planned during his brief visit.
In Florida, hospitals braced for an influx of patients, with the biggest medical center in Florida’s hardest-hit county, Miami's Jackson Health System, scaling back elective surgeries and other procedures to make room for victims of the resurgence underway across the South and West. Florida recorded more than 6,500 new cases—down from around 9,000 on some days last week, but still alarming—and a running total of over 3,500 deaths. The run-up in cases has been blamed in part on what New Jersey's governor called "knucklehead behavior” by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules. Health experts say the virus in Florida and other Southern states risks becoming uncontrollable, with case numbers too large to trace. (On Tuesday, the US posted a new single-day case record for the fourth time in a week.)