Florida notched a record-breaking 10,109 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the state's highest single-day increase since the pandemic began earlier this year. Sarasota County reported 106 new cases and Manatee County reported 160.
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System also reported a record number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Thursday, with 56, including 16 in the ICU. Its previous high was 50 hospitalized COVID patients on June 30. Both SMH and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center also tightened visitor restrictions this week.
On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Floridians preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday to avoiding what the administration calls "the three Cs": closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings and to wear a mask in public.
Sarasota County commissioners also endorsed recommendations from the Florida surgeon general that states all individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible. The move comes after the Sarasota city commission and the Town of Longboat Key voted to require face masks in public settings, joining Anna Maria and Holmes Beach. City manager Tom Barwin and and Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch extended the city's public health emergency through July 10.