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Florida surpasses 300,000 coronavirus cases

Florida emerges as coronavirus epicenter
Florida emerges as coronavirus epicenter as thousands pack testing sites 04:17

Florida surpassed 300,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. The state has seen a surge of infections in recent weeks and now sits behind only California and New York in the number of confirmed cases it's reported.

Health officials reported an additional 10,181 new confirmed cases Wednesday. Florida took more than three months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases but then took just two weeks to jump from 100,000 to 200,000. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a news conference Wednesday said the state is doing roughly 90,000 tests per day but said the results were taking too long to process.

"One thing that I think is clear is that we need to get these testing results back in a timely fashion," DeSantis said. The governor said the state would be shifting business away from commercial labs that have not been able to return test results in 48 hours, as originally agreed upon when testing was expanded in the beginning of May.

Contact-tracers have also said delays in testing results are making their jobs more difficult.

Florida also reported an additional 112 deaths on Wednesday. This was the third time in the past seven days it has reported more than 100 deaths, according to CBS Miami. More than 4,500 people have died in the state due to COVID-19.

Florida's emergency management director compared the state's response to a hurricane, but one complicated by politics. "When a Category 5 hits, nobody argues whether it was whether it was a Category 5, and in this disaster, we are arguing over everything," Jared Moskowitz told CBS News. 

DeSantis said additional medical personnel have been sent to Miami-Dade County, which is facing some of the highest infection rates in the state. Although the county's ICU beds are at capacity, the governor said the hospitals in the county still have plenty of other space that can be utilized for coronavirus patients, but added the real issue is a lack of healthcare workers.

The governor also announced the state will be introducing lanes at testing sites specifically for those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. People who use those lanes will administer the swabs themselves and their test results will be expedited, DeSantis said.

Manuel Bojorquez contributed reporting.

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