Florida continues to see five-figure increases daily in its COVID-19 caseload.
The Department of Health reported an additional 11,576 individuals tested positive as of Monday morning, bringing the total since March to 1,488,586. That’s a significant increase, but less cases than were added Saturday or Sunday.
More startling, another 163 deaths made it into the state database, showing the human cost of holiday gatherings continues to mount. A total of 23,424 have now died in Florida while infected by the coronavirus, including 23,071 residents and 353 visitors being treated within the state.
On a more optimistic note, officials report 587,956 individuals have received an approved COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Florida, including 39,988 who now have received a first shot and a booster.
Still, federal officials on both sides of the aisle continue to pressure Florida to do a better job of delivering inoculations. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican, has demanded Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees explain why foreign nationals appear to be receiving vaccines sometimes ahead of qualified Florida seniors. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, has pushed for more vaccines to be distributed among veterans and within hard-struck minority communities?