• Florida reported 216 more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, a new daily record.
  • The previous record of 186 deaths was set on Tuesday.
  • Nearly 6,500 people have now died of COVID-19 in Florida, with more than 451,000 infected.
  • The death toll comes as the state is shuttering testing sites ahead of a tropical weather system.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Florida broke its record for new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, the second time this week, a day before the state will be closing coronavirus testing sites due to a looming tropical storm.

The Florida Department of Health announced 216 new coronavirus deaths on July 29, bringing the total number of dead to 6,457. The previous daily record was 186 deaths, set the day before.

More than 451,000 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida, which in recent weeks has seen a surge in new cases, exacerbated by a failure to build contact-tracing capacity, with a daily record of 15,299 on July 12. Deaths, a lagging indicator, have followed.

The state, which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis opened back up for business in May, has seen intensive-care units operating at or near capacity.

“When everything started to open up and ease up, then our volume picked up,” Dr. Mark Supino, a physician at Jackson Health System in Miami, told Business Insider.

Florida also reported nearly 9,500 new cases on Wednesday — the last day that state-run testing sites will be open until at least next week.

As WCTV reported, the Florida Division of Emergency Management instructed all state-run COVID-19 testing sites to close down until a tropical weather system passes.

“We expect most sites can reopen [next] Wednesday,” the department said.

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