Several US states including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma, have been experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
On Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported 8,942 new positive COVID-19 cases, which surpassed the previous record set two days ago of 5,463 new daily cases. In addition, 39 COVID-19 related deaths in Florida were reported Friday. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered the immediate shutdown of bars Friday in response to the explosion of new cases.
"Noncompliance by bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises is suspected throughout the state to such a degree as to make individualized enforcement efforts impractical and insufficient at this time," the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees alcohol licenses, announced Friday.
Similarly, Texas has been following suit, having reported almost 6,000 new cases on Thursday. In a statement Friday, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott hit pause on the state's reopening plan.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10% the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a statement, NBC News reported. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”
California is also seeing surges in COVID-19 infections, with the state reporting 4,890 new confirmed cases on Thursday, which is a 2.5% increase from Wednesday's daily case count.
During a Friday coronavirus briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he is "advising and counseling" the state's Imperial County to reinstate its stay-at-home order due to an increase in its positivity rate.
The positivity rate is a ratio of the positive number of cases to the number of tests conducted. According to Johns Hopkins, "the rate of positivity is an important indicator because it can provide insights into whether a community is conducting enough testing to find cases. If a community’s positivity is high, it suggests that that community may largely be testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases."
The US on Friday hit a record number of 40,000 new COVID-19 cases across the country, according to the latest data by Johns Hopkins University. The previous record was set on Wednesday at 36,739 cases, as counted by a New York Times tally.
Also on Friday, Trump canceled his weekend trip to his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, due to the rising number of coronavirus cases, Politico reported. However, Trump did travel to Arizona on Tuesday, which is also experiencing a steep spike in cases.