Florida reports 56,865 new COVID cases, positivity rate continues to soar

The state reported Saturday more than 56,000 new cases of COVID-19.

After days of record-breaking COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State, Florida reported 56,865 new cases on Saturday and the positivity rates in South Florida continue to soar.

According to the latest figures released, both Miami-Dade and Broward counties have positivity rates of 30%.

Public health experts don’t consider the virus to be under control in an area unless the positivity rate is under 5%.

On Saturday, thousands of people in South Florida started off the new year getting tested for COVID-19. Local 10′s cameras spotted long lines at Tropical Park that stretched for blocks.

The CDC’s website currently lists the level of community transmission in nearly every county in Florida as “high.”

Ten counties are listed as having a “substantial” level of community transmission and Dixie and Lafayette counties are the only two considered to have “moderate” levels of community transmission.

As a result of outbreaks fueled by the omicron variant, the CDC warned travelers this week to not go on cruises, regardless of their vaccination status.

The cruise industry is big business for South Florida, making plenty of people unhappy about that news.

Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Roger Frizzell told The Associated Press the company has no plans to alter or cancel their cruises following the CDC recommendation.

“Our enhanced health and safety protocols have proven to be effective time and time again over the past year,” Frizzell said.

Carnival Corporation is headquartered in Doral.

Meanwhile, public schools in Miami-Dade County will begin enforcing a mask mandate for all adults who enter district facilities beginning Monday, and the Broward School Board voted on Friday to mandate that all visitors and vendors wear face coverings when entering school facilities.

“The governor pushed the legislature to enact a law that basically removed all our constitutional ability to oversee the safety of our students and staff,” Broward School Board member Patti Good said.

Amid the drastic rise in cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to West Kendall on Friday and spoke at a public event at Miami Baptist Church.

The governor, however, did not acknowledge the rise in cases and when approached by Local 10 News’ Amy Viteri, one of DeSantis’ aides blocked her from reaching the governor.

(U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.