Florida reported a record number of coronavirus cases on Saturday, the latest sign that the virus is surging in many parts of the US, casting a pall over Fourth of July celebrations, the AP reports. Officials and health authorities warned people to take precautions or simply stay home on Independence Day, as confirmed cases are climbing in 40 states. The US set another daily record Friday with 52,300 newly reported infections, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University that is widely thought to be an undercount. Florida reported 11,445 confirmed infections on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to more than 190,000—numbers that approach or even exceed New York "disastrous peak of cases" this spring, per the Daily Beast.
Alabama this week also set a record for infections reported in a day, with more than 1,700 new confirmed cases recorded Thursday, and state health officials worried that the holiday weekend could lead to the type of spike that followed Memorial Day weekend. "I'm really, really worried about the Fourth of July," said Dr. Don Williamson, a former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association. "I think that will likely determine the trend for Alabama for the rest of the summer." The sobering updates came as local officials and health experts across the country tried to minimize opportunities for the virus to continue spreading on a holiday weekend typically spent swimming, eating at backyard gatherings, or crowding elbow-to-elbow to view parades and fireworks shows.
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