Florida reports another 17,589 COVID-19 cases

As the delta variant of the novel coronavirus continues to sweep across the state and nation, Florida on Wednesday reported 17,589 new COVID-19 cases and 56 deaths, data released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. 

Florida was responsible for about one in five new COVID-19 cases reported nationally Wednesday. The nationwide death toll was 397, which means Florida accounted for 14% of the total deaths reported. 

The data show that 48.7% of the state’s population was fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, putting Florida just below the 49.4% national average.

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Graph of daily COVID-19 cases reported in Florida on the CDC website, as of July 29

Hospital admissions of coronavirus patients also continue to soar in Florida with at least two areas in the state surpassing previous peaks reached during last summer's surge. 

According to the Florida Hospital Association, hospitalizations were spiking, as well. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 8,907 as of Thursday.

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Meanwhile, the CDC report also shows that 405,968 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered to residents and staff members in Florida assisted living facilities and nursing homes as of Wednesday. 

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The report showed that 174,690 staff and residents were considered fully vaccinated. Florida has 692 nursing homes and 3,169 assisted living facilities. 

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week to revise mask requirements for fully vaccinated people, with the government recommending that they wear masks in indoor public places in areas of "substantial or high" transmission. 

The rising case numbers also have prompted some hospitals across the state to require staff members to get vaccinated.

YESTERDAY: Florida tops 16,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday