The nation's capital is flagging some areas across the Sunshine State. Florida's largest counties are now under the White House's "red zone" due to COVID-19. It comes as the state sees a surge in the novel coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The White House's Coronavirus Task Force put Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Duval, Orange counties, and more within this classification. "Clearly, there was something that happened," Dr. Deborah Brix said during the task force's press conference on July 8.
Counties that sit in the "red zone" are areas where the spread of COVID-19 is highly prevalent. Within these areas, Dr. Brix said, all residents should be wearing a face mask whenever they head out in public.
"In that recommendation, are very clear recommendations that when you have a county wit these types of cases, we are recommending everyone using a face covering," she said.
In a span of a month, the Sunshine State has become one of the epicenters for the novel coronavirus. Florida now has over 230,000 cases, putting it in the top three in the nation for overall cases, and quickly gaining on California for the dreaded second-place spot.
Florida added 8,948 cases on Thursday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
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The White House Task Force recommends that residents who sit in these regions avoid going to bars or eating indoors at restaurants.
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As for the latter, under phase 2, restaurants can still allow up to 50% capacity in most of Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has shown no signs of reversing that provision, even though Miami-Dade made the drastic move to shutdown inside dining late last week.
Mitigation of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has been patchwork at best. Mandatory mask mandates are in effect for the state's large counties, though the governor has yet to force the action statewide.