Florida Sets Record for COVID Deaths in 1 Day

120 people die as fatality rate climbs along with infections
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2020 5:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations had been increasing steadily for weeks in Florida, so health experts were pretty sure what was coming. The state set a record Thursday when 120 people died of the disease, the Hill reports. "There are the denialists who say these people are younger ... and all these theories," one expert said, "but if [the rise in deaths] didn't happen, you'd start to wonder what’s going on regarding how the deaths are being tallied." Deaths usually run a few weeks to a month behind infections, per the Miami Herald. Florida's death rate now is about what it was in early May, before any reopenings. The state only counts deaths confirmed to be caused by COVID-19, leaving out those probably caused by it. That policy was criticized this week by the COVID Tracking Project.

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In all, Florida has reported 233,000 confirmed cases, including almost 9,000 new ones on Wednesday. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, was among those who said more young people are among the newly infected, saying they're more likely to beat the disease. But health officials had said the death rate was climbing, as well. "We have a younger group of people and hopefully their survival will be somewhat better," an expert said, "but there's no question we’ll see an increase in deaths." DeSantis has not been releasing hospitalization totals for the state, which the expert called "absolutely deplorable." The governor's office said last week that policy would change. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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