A record rise in the number of positive coronavirus cases in Florida has many fearing another statewide stay-at-home order.
Saturday was the third consecutive day the state reported a staggering amount of new infections.
The increase in cases could be fueled in part by protestors marching in mass gatherings following the death of George Floyd, and businesses gradually resuming their reopenings.
An additional 2,581 coronavirus cases were reported statewide on Saturday, setting a new daily record, according to the Florida Department of Health.
This includes 214 new cases among Broward County residents and startling 576 new cases in Miami-Dade.
“It does concern me to see these numbers going up, particularly when I’m looking at hospitalizations, as they go up,” said Dr. Aileen Marty from the Florida International University College of Medicine.
Doctor Marty studies infectious diseases at FIU and attributes part of the rise to the recent protests.
“That brought a lot of people together, some of whom were not careful and got too close together, and of course were shouting, which helps the virus,”
While many beaches and businesses are also reopening, Dr. Marty said it may be too soon to know if that is also contributing to the alarming, statewide spike.
“We want to have the economy open, but we can only do that if we’re all recognizing that there is this incredibly dangerous virus,” said Dr. Marty.
It’s a trend Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is also watching closely.
“There are major concerns as the cases continue to rise,” said Mayor Suarez.
“We have been data driven since the first day, and we are going to continue to be data driven,” he said. “We may have to make some decisions after this weekend.”