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Florida hits COVID-19 record ahead of Thanksgiving

Posted at 3:43 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:27:24-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Florida hit a record number of new daily COVID-19 cases over the weekend with more than 10,000 new cases recorded in just one day.

Palm Beach County also experienced a huge spike, just a week and a half before Thanksgiving.

There were steady lines at COVID-19 testing sites in Palm Beach County on Monday after Florida experienced a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases since July.

"We’re looking at it very closely and it is a concern," said Commissioner Hal Valeche.

Valeche said the county commission’s options to add any restrictions are limited by Gov. Ron DeSantis' most recent executive order. Valeche said the commission would have to petition the governor if it were to scale back any reopenings.

"I don’t think we can act autonomously and I'm not sure we actually want to," Valeche said.

The numbers Valeche said the board will be paying attention to at Tuesday's meeting will be the hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Testing and contact tracing are also of great concern.

With COVID-19 cases on an upward trend, there are concerns that lines at county testing sites will get longer as more people get tested before and after holiday gatherings.

"I think the testing numbers will go up, which will drive the positive numbers up, which will drive the positibity number up and it’s just a domino effect," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Leslie Diaz.

Dr. Diaz said hospitals are experiencing a spike in admissions related to COVID-19, but no shortage of PPE or staff. Diaz said people will need to be more mindful of others when planning holiday gatherings.

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"The mortality rate is very low and the survival rate is very high, but go back to the fact of who can I infect? It's not just about us individually, it's about your fellow person," Dr. Diaz said.