What We're Reading: 15,000 COVID-19 Cases in Florida; NYC Reports No COVID-19 Deaths; DeVos on School Reopenings

July 13, 2020

Florida announced a record-breaking 15,000 new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections on Sunday; New York City marks its first day without a COVID-19 death since the pandemic began; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended the reopening of schools in the fall.

Florida Announces 15,000 New COVID-19 Cases

The state of Florida broke records when it reported more than 15,000 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Sunday, Politico reports. However, according to the Florida Department of Health, the positivity rate of new infections was 11.25%, which is significantly less than the 18% rate reported July 8. Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration responded to the record by pointing out the median age of new infections has decreased to 38 years. The administration stated that because younger individuals tend to show fewer symptoms and rarely require hospitalizations, the state’s health care system will be less strained. Data also show that 7507 individuals in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19 as their primary diagnosis on Sunday.

New York City Reports No New Deaths

While the pandemic is taking a turn for the worse in other parts of the country, New York City reported no COVID-19 deaths on July 11 for the first time since March 13, according to The Hill. The city, once the country’s epicenter of the pandemic, has reported a total of 215,924 infections and nearly 19,000 deaths. The virus’ peak was on April 7, when the city reported 597 deaths in one day. However, due to the virus’ surge in other regions of the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned these spikes could lead to a resurgence in the state.

Education Secretary Defends School Reopening

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended schools’ reopening in the fall in accordance with CDC guidelines, Politico reports. DeVos argued children need to return to school this fall and that doing so would not put them into danger. She continued to emphasize that the guidance is flexible and that there is no “one size fits all” approach for every school district. Some concerned members of the Trump administration fear keeping children out of school can be more detrimental than any potential exposure to COVID-19. The announcement comes after Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, announced stricter lockdowns may be needed in some Southern states to curb the virus’ spread.