New COVID-19 cases in Florida plunge before primary election
Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida reported about 3,900 new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, the lowest daily total in nearly two months. The number of Floridians dying of the disease — 107 — also took a dramatic downward turn from the last few days.
The lower numbers come just days before Florida voters cast ballots Tuesday in primaries across the state for congressional, legislative and other seats. More than 2.3 million people have opted to vote early, instead of braving lines and the risk of infection.
Election officials have urged voters to avoid the trip to precincts on Election Day by casting ballots early, including mailing in their completed ballots. Officials, however, have assured voters who decide to show up a the polls on Tuesday that doing so will be safe.
It remained to be seen how the pandemic will affect the election on Tuesday and in November, when Florida again plays a crucial role in the presidential race.
It also remained to be seen how lasting the dips in deaths and new cases will be — considering how unpredictable the outbreak has been since its start five months ago.
Still, the new cases announced Sunday by the Florida Health Department continued a steady decline from last month, when the one-day total of newly reported cases surged to 15,300 cases on July 12.
To date, more than 567,000 Floridians have been infected by the virus, with the state's death toll rising to nearly 9,600.
The number of new cases is the lowest since June 23, when officials reported 3,286 new cases.
The dip brought down the daily average of new infections to a little more than 5,800 a day over the past week. The average number of deaths over the same period was slightly more than 180 deaths a day.
The number of deaths reported Sunday was about half of the totals from each of the past two days.
Hospitalizations generally held steady, with nearly 5,700 people being treated for the virus.