A record-breaking 23,903 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Florida on Friday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This marks the third time this week that Florida has surpassed its record of new daily Covid-19 cases. The state first reported its highest one-day total on July 31 with 21,683 new cases. Then, on Thursday, at least 22,783 new daily cases were reported, CDC data shows.
"This is real. And it didn’t have to be this bad," Nikki Fried, Florida's commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, tweeted Saturday. "We need everyone to do their part — #GetVaccinatedNow & #MaskUp. If not for yourself, for your friends, family, and neighbors. For our kids. For our doctors & nurses. For Florida."
Covid-19 hospitalizations in the state have also increased at record-breaking levels for six consecutive days, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
On Saturday, Florida recorded 13,747 hospitalizations related to Covid-19, with at least 2,753 patients in intensive care units statewide, accounting for 43 percent of the intensive care units beds available in the state.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 620,404 Americans, according to a rolling NBC News tally. At least 39,695 of those fatalities have been in Florida, in a per capita rate that puts the state squarely in the middle of the pack.
About 49.3 percent of Florida's population has been fully vaccinated, according to NBC's vaccination tracker. That puts Florida slightly behind other large states like California (53.3 percent), New York (57.5 percent) and Pennsylvania (52.8 percent) but ahead of Illinois (48.9 percent) and Texas (43.3 percent).