MIAMI — Florida joined Texas and California in surpassing 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday as the governor has vowed not to adopt any further restrictions or impose closures like those enacted in the spring and summer.
Hospitalizations have also climbed in the state with 4,261 COVID-19 patients, up from 4,139 tallied on Monday.
The figure is still less than half what hospitals saw in late July, but it has steadily climbed since October after plateauing at about 2,000 hospitalizations daily for weeks following the summer surge of the virus.
The state’s health department on Tuesday reported 82 new virus deaths, raising the toll in the third-most populous state to at least 18,942 since the beginning of the pandemic.
While vaccines could arrive as early as this month, officials say it will be spring at the earliest before most people can receive the treatment.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday on Twitter that the priority for the allocation of the new vaccines should be to residents of long-term care facilities who are “by far the most likely demographic to die with COVID.”