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Florida reports record number of new Covid-19 cases – Financial Times

State has highest single day total since pandemic began as US ‘sunbelt’ surge continues

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Florida on Sunday became the first US state to report an increase of more than 15,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day, as pressure grew on officials to mandate the wearing of masks. 
A further 15,300 people tested positive for the disease over the past 24 hours, the state’s health department said, up from 10,360 the previous day.
That is a bigger increase than the 11,694 reported by California on July 8, which governor Gavin Newsom said had been bolstered by a backlog of tests in hard-hit Los Angeles county. That, in turn, had unseated longtime record holder New York and its peak of 11,571 cases on April 15.
Florida’s record increase lifted its seven-day average of new confirmed cases to a rate of nearly 10,000 a day, a record for a US state and eclipsing the peak rate of 9,664 New York experienced during the depths of its crisis in mid-April, according to Financial Times calculations using Covid Tracking Project data.
The surge in Covid-19 cases is forcing the worst-affected states to impose new restrictions, and comes as President Donald Trump was photographed sporting a mask in public for the first time.
On Saturday, Mr Trump wore a face mask during a visit to Walter Reed hospital, after previously deriding Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden for covering his face.
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On the same day, the Democratic governor of Louisiana announced that bars would be shut and masks would be required for anyone in the state over the age of eight who was within six feet of a non-family member. The Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi have previously mandated mask-wearing in their states.
Over the past week, Texas has seen a 36 per cent uptick in the seven-day average number of new coronavirus cases with an increase of about 8,200 on Sunday, taking its average daily rate over 9,000 for the first time, according to FT calculations.
On Sunday, a further 61,338 people in the US tested positive for coronavirus, according to data from Covid Tracking Project, down from about 63,000 on Saturday and Friday’s record increase of nearly 67,000. Florida’s record single-day jump in cases was offset by other hotspots, such as California, Texas and Arizona reporting increases below recent record levels.
The daily increase in deaths nationwide retreated for a fifth consecutive day to 476 from a multi-week high of 922 on July 7, but is more than double the three-month low of 209 new fatalities reported a week ago.
“It is really essential to wear a mask in public,” Brett Giroir, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force told ABC News on Sunday.
“In order for us to reverse this problem, we need about 90 per cent of people in those really

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