Florida reports record-high spike in coronavirus cases and a 'plunging' median age of infection
Cocoa Beach is packed with beach goers on Memorial Day weekend, May 23, 2020.
Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel / Tribune News Service via Getty Images
The Florida Department of Health reported 3,822 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the largest increase in the state in a single day, on Friday.
Experts have warned that the state could be the next epicenter of the pandemic as residents continue to use open beaches and bars.
Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday that the average age of the infected was "falling", but added that he would not issue a nationwide order that requires masks.
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Florida set another record on Friday, with the Health Department reporting 3,822 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest number the state has seen in a single day.
The previous record was set on Thursday when the department said there were 3,207 new cases.
According to government data, Florida's total number is approaching 90,000 infections.
The news follows warnings from some experts that the state could become the next epicenter of the pandemic as residents and visitors continue to enjoy open-air restaurants, bars, shops, and beaches, many practicing without social distance or wearing masks.
Related video: How long does social distancing take? It's complicated.
According to a report released on Wednesday by scientists from the Philadelphia Children's Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania, "Florida has all the prerequisites for the next major epicenter ... risk is the worst that our projections have ever seen."
A woman wears face protection as she wades in the ocean off Miami Beach on June 10, 2020 in Miami Beach.
Photo by Cliff Hawkins / Getty Images
Earlier this week, Florida governor Ron DeSantis said the steady increase in cases was due to more testing and fluctuations in farm workers and nursing home residents, Fox 13 reported.
During a press conference on Friday, DeSantis said another population group is emerging: young people.
The average age of confirmed infected has "dropped" to 37 years across the state, according to Orlando Sentinel. The average age in Orange County was 29 years. Seminole County was only 26 years old.
Kat Layton is one of those young people who tested positive. She belongs to the group of 16 friends who all got infected after visiting a pub in Jacksonville on June 6. She told CNN's Chris Cuomo that she hoped others would learn from her mistakes.
"We want to tell people that it really isn't ready for what we thought it was doing - it's too early," she said.
Still, DeSantis said on Friday that it would not issue a nationwide order requiring the wearing of masks, the Sentinel reported.
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