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Fried press conference: Florida breaks its daily record with 22,783 new cases, highest-ever hospitalizations

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried is urging parents to send their kids to school wearing masks. Image: The Florida Channel

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried says the state reported its highest number ever of new coronavirus cases Friday and the most hospitalizations for COVID-19.

Commissioner Nikki Fried says Florida added 22,783 cases and 199 deaths Thursday.

She says cases are up 33 percent over last week. 

And as of moments ago,” she said Friday afternoon, “there was 13,427 people hospitalized in our state with COVID-19, which unfortunately beats the all-time high record of hospitalizations that we set the day before.”

Fried is the only Democrat elected statewide. And she hopes to run against Gov. Ron DeSantis next year.

Addressing DeSantis, she says he needs to be “transparent, upfront and honest” with people about the crisis.

“You need to be doing your job here in the state of Florida, not galavanting across our country, fundraising for your political committee,” she said.

Fried is asking Floridians to get vaccinated and urging parents to send their kids to school wearing masks.

“This is the way we’re going to save our children,” she said of mask-wearing. “This is the way we’re going to keep our schools open.”

Governor Ron DeSantis has downplayed the surge in cases as a seasonal thing and insists that parents, not school boards, will decide if students wear masks.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.