Speed Reads

coronavirus in the sun belt

Daily coronavirus cases in Arizona are declining, but the state's fatality rate is rising fast

Florida on Saturday reported more than 12,000 new coronavirus infections within the previous 24-hour period, bringing the state's total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 414,511. On the other side of the Sun Belt, Arizona is seeing daily infections decline, seemingly without experiencing an elevated plateau, but the death rate — a lagging indicator — is increasing.

With its latest tally, Florida has surpassed New York — which has reported 411,200 cases — as the state with the second highest number of confirmed infections behind California, which, like Florida, has seen cases surge over the last several weeks. New York has yet to see another major uptick since it mostly contained the virus after a significant epidemic in March, April, and May.

Florida also reported 124 new resident deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5,777. As of Saturday morning, nearly 9,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state.

In Arizona, meanwhile, the fatality rate increased over the past week to the point where if the U.S. had an equivalent rate, around 25,000 people would have been reported dead this week. Tim O'Donnell