The state hit an all-time high for daily case counts today with 5,508 new Covid-19 cases announced. The prior single-day high was logged Saturday with 4,049 cases. The state also saw 43 additional deaths and 258 new hospitalizations. State leaders point to testing availability as an explanation for the spike in numbers in their messaging but also acknowledged the high percentage of positive tests is indicative of community spread. While the state tracks positive testing on a rolling seven-day average, it is notable the single-day positive testing percentage jump from 10.2% Tuesday to 15.9% Wednesday. The average age of the infected persons continues to decline. Today, Covid-positive cases are on average 33 years old, compared with 65 years old during March. The Tampa Bay Times, in an analysis of statewide data, is reporting 15% of Covid-19 hospitalizations right now in the state are for patients ages 25 to 44. When we look back at the total Florida Covid-19 infections since the pandemic took root four months ago, approximately 27% of all infections have come in the past seven days. Florida’s not alone in the surge however; Arizona, Texas and California also saw case counts in the thousands this week.
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The US banned European travelers at the beginning of the pandemic and now Europe seems happy to return the favor as it reopens. Europe quickly became the epicenter for the virus early in 2020, prompting the US to ban all entry in an effort to protect Americans’ health. Three months later, the US is in the lead for Covid-19 cases and deaths, and Americans are about to be placed on a no-entry list to all European Union nations. The criteria for acceptable entry are based on clear metrics, including having an average of new infections no higher than the EU’s, which is currently sitting at 16 cases per 100,000 people. The US is currently at 107, making it a clear non-starter for American travelers. Brazilians and Russians would also be banned. The list of acceptable countries will be updated every two weeks, allowing for revision and consideration of countries who may be curbing the virus. No list has been officially published, but an agreement on entry criteria and enforcement is expected by July 1.
Yesterday, primary voters cast their ballots in five states: Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi. These contests, the first since racial turmoil engulfed the nation following the death of George Floyd, illuminated a dislike of the establishment wings of both parties. In Kentucky, state representative and progressive darling Charles Booker is giving retired Marine Corps pilot and supposed frontrunner Amy McGrath a serious challenge in the too-close-to-call Democratic primary. The winner will face US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the November general election. In the Northeast, the Democrats’ progressive wing is continuing to make major gains in NYC as political newcomer Jamaal Bowman looks poised to handily defeat longtime New York Congressman Eliot Engel. And in North Carolina, 24-year-old Madison Cawthorn demolished Trump-endorsed businesswoman Lynda Bennett by a 2:1 margin. In addition to troubling trends for incumbents, another takeaway from yesterday was the relative messiness that comes along with a Covid-related surge in absentee and mail-in voting. In many of yesterday’s contests, results are still not official due to the number of ballots yet to be counted, an ominous sign for those hoping to see quick, drama-free election results in November. You may not know who was chosen as president for days or even weeks following the November 3 election.