Coronavirus Report

Texas, Florida, Arizona see new highs in coronavirus cases

In the past two weeks, more than half of the states in the country have seen a spike in their daily number of new COVID-19 cases.

Some spikes have been worse than others, though, with multiple states last week setting new records in terms of daily new cases.

As a result of the surge, 34,700 new cases of COVID-19 nationally were reported on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The daily number of cases in the U.S. have not been that high since April, the initial peak of the pandemic.

In particular, Arizona, Texas and Florida have seen new cases skyrocket.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,593 new coronavirus cases and 42 deaths, both records for the state. While the number of new cases on Wednesday dropped to 1,795, the number of deaths almost doubled, jumping to 79.

Another concern for the Southwestern state is the amount of intensive care unit beds that it has available. According to the state’s data, 88 percent of Arizona’s adult ICU beds are filled and 86 percent of its inpatient beds overall are being used.

Once it began opening, Arizona quickly rolled back restrictions, with Gov. Doug Ducey (R) not making it a requirement for people to wear masks while out in public. Last Wednesday, amid spiking numbers, Ducey mandated that local government can pass measures forcing their residents to wear masks.

President Trump hosted a rally at a megachurch in Phoenix on Tuesday and downplayed the surge in daily cases.

“When you have all those tests, you have more cases,” Trump told a crowd of around 3,000 people. “We want to do testing. We want to do everything, but they use it to make us look bad.” 

The president’s words have been a common refrain from him and his conservative allies as to why there has been a surge in cases nationwide.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called the surge of COVID-19 cases in the Lone Star State “unacceptable.”

“We have several strategies to reduce the spread without shutting Texas back down, but it is up to all of us to do our part to protect ourselves and others,” Abbott said. “We need all Texans to follow the safety protocols developed by our team of medical experts, including staying home if you are sick or at risk, sanitizing your hands, social distancing, and wearing face coverings or masks.”

Abbott’s plea to Texans to follow safety protocols came after Texas reported 4,430 new cases on Saturday, a record. The record didn’t last long, as the state reported 5,489 new cases on Tuesday. 

The governor hasn’t reinforced any of the state’s previously rolled back pandemic restrictions, saying Tuesday that “closing down Texas again will always be the last option.”

Florida set a record for daily new cases on Wednesday, breaking its previous record that was set over the weekend. 

The state reported 5,511 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in Florida to 109,014. The Sunshine State hasn’t reported less than 1,000 new cases in a day since June 1.

Florida is slated to host a pair of major political events in the coming months — the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville in August and the second presidential debate in Miami in October.

Tags Arizona Coronavirus Donald Trump Doug Ducey economy Florida Greg Abbott reopening Republican National Convention Trump rally

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