Coronavirus cases surging in Florida and Texas as states barrel ahead with reopening plans

Coronavirus cases surging in Florida and Texas as states barrel ahead with reopening plans

June 23, 2020

The U.S. is seeing a dangerous increase in coronavirus cases in the South and West.

As the nation pushes forward with re-opening, half of all states are now averaging more new cases each day than they have in weeks.

A fifth of new infections globally are in the U.S.

Florida and Texas are setting records for positive tests, and their governors are warning they may need to crack down on people who aren’t social distancing.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis acknowledges that increased testing alone can’t account for recent record numbers of new COVID-19 cases. He says he’ll crack down on businesses that don’t follow social distancing guidelines, but adds he won’t change the state’s reopening plan or enact a state-wide mandatory mask order.

With Florida topping 100,000 cases Monday, more younger people are testing positive. Doctors are sounding the alarm.

“When young people get infected, they go home and they infect their parents,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood. “They will kill people by giving vulnerable people the virus.”

Miami on Monday became the latest city to weigh in on the issue of masks. “We are going to be implementing a ‘mask in public’ rule. Everyone will have to wear a mask in public,” Mayor Francis Suarez said.

But tensions over precautions are flaring up. One video showed a man in Florida fighting to enter a store with no mask on.

Over the past two weeks, at least 18 states have shown a rise in hospitalizations. In Texas, the number reached a record-high for an 11th consecutive day.

But Governor Greg Abbott doesn’t anticipate a return to lockdown. “Closing down Texas again will always be the last option,” he said.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb tells CBS News, “I think it’s really going to be a pivotal week for us to get a picture of where things are heading in states like Florida and Arizona and Texas, whether or not they’re tipping over into exponential growth or not.”

Dr. Mark Heinz of Tucson worries about the new cases he’s seeing. “ICU beds across southern Arizona and, actually, across the state are at a very high premium at this point,” Heinz warned.

New cases also caused Major League Baseball to close training camps in Arizona and Florida.

And in Los Angeles, the health department’s director said on top of the COVID crisis, public health officials are receiving death threats.

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