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Doctor blames community spread, not just increased testing, on spike in coronavirus cases

Record number of new COVID-19 cases in Florida over the weekend
Posted at 2:56 PM, Jul 06, 2020

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Florida saw a record number of new coronavirus cases over the weekend, and now the state's total number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 200,000.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the average positivity rate for the state and Palm Beach County is hovering around 10%.

"It's definitely more than just testing, increased testing. It is community spread," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Leslie Diaz.

The positivity rate is the daily percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 out of the overall number of people tested on a particular day.

Dr. Diaz said Palm Beach County is given an average number, but the non-profit organization FoundCare has found that number can be higher in different parts of the county.

"We’re doing anywhere from 130 to 190 tests every day," Dr. Diaz. "In certain populations, the positivity rate has been as high as almost 40%."

At Tuesday's Palm Beach County commission meeting, commissioners are expected to discuss options to help curb cases.

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said that last week, the county administrator contacted her about possible restrictions.

"At that time, they were considering closing or eliminating food service at any restaurant after midnight to shut down on a lot of the restaurants that are sort of morphing into bars after hours," McKinlay said. "In an effort to not punish the little mom and pop diners, I had suggested that instead we shut down alcohol sales after midnight, and she was taking that back to the Executive Policy Group."