Florida Reports Highest COVID-19 Death Toll: 173

Healthcare workers work at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the coronavirus pandemic, Friday, July 17, 2020, in Miami Beach, Florida. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida reported 173 new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, breaking the state’s record for the highest single-day death toll.

The new fatalities bring Florida’s total to 5,518 resident deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The new deaths reported Thursday include 12 in Miami-Dade County, seven in Broward and 18 in Palm Beach County.

Florida’s previous record for deaths announced in a day was 156 on July 16. The state had announced 134 new deaths Tuesday and 139 on Wednesday, which was then second-most for a day.

The state also reported 10,250 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of people infected in the state to 389,868.

While state cases and death continue to rise rapidly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for refusing to issue a statewide order requiring masks in public places.

He says that should be left to local officials because some counties, such as Miami-Dade, are more hard-hit than more rural, less-populated counties, which have few cases. Several counties and cities now require masks.

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