Florida reported 257 new COVID-19 related deaths on Friday, marking the fourth day in a row that the state has reported a record number of deaths due to the coronavirus.
The state reported 186 new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, 216 on Wednesday, and 253 on Thursday, according to the state's department of health. In total, 6,843 Florida residents have died from COVID-19.
The state reported 8,983 new cases on Friday, and has identified a total of 470,386 cases. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, Florida follows only Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the state of California for the most confirmed cases in any province, state or dependency in the world.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference on Tuesday that the uptick was likely due to a delay in reporting, and claimed it would soon decrease.
"I think when you see those reports, those are probably reflective of infections and hospitalizations that have happened in the past, so it's more of a lagging indicator," DeSantis said. "Whereas I think the (emergency departments) visits, and some of the hospitals censuses, is probably more of a leading indicator of where things are trending."
"And so, as you have fewer (emergency departments) visits, as you have fewer COVID positive patients in the hospital, we think… you'll see mortality decrease as well," he added.
As the threat of COVID-19 creeps up in the state, parts of Florida are also under hurricane watch.
drenched the Bahamas on Friday, and may strike the U.S. East Coast. Officials said they were closing beaches, marinas and parks in Miami-Dade County beginning Friday night.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the county has 20 evacuation centers on standby that could be set up with virus safety measures.