August 10, 2020

TALLAHASSEE — Florida saw a decline in coronavirus deaths and new cases on Sunday, with 77 reported fatalities and 6,229 reported new cases.

That compares to 187 new deaths and 8,502 confirmed cases reported Saturday. Still, the average number of deaths reported over the last seven days is 158.

And the number of hospitalizations due to the virus crept up slightly. The state reported 6,857 patients were being treated in hospitals because of the virus, compared to 6,836 the day before. Miami-Dade County had the most hospitalizations with 1,510, followed by Broward County with 909.

As the state grappled with the pandemic, hundreds of early voting sites were open across the state. On Saturday, more than 40,000 people cast ballots in person ahead of the Sept. 18 primary. In the county hit hardest by the virus, Miami-Dade, nearly 23,000 have cast ballots in person since early voting began Monday.

But voting was light in many areas, and there’s been a significant increase in vote-by-mail ballot requests. In Glades County, a rural area to the west of Lake Okeechobbee, 52 people had cast in-person ballots as of early Sunday afternoon, compared to 882 that had cast ballots by mail.

And some of the state’s school districts were set to reopen Monday despite a lawsuit filed by the Florida Education Association seeking a delay.

Republican state Rep. Randy Fine is one of at least three Florida lawmakers who have tested positive for the virus. In a Twitter post over the weekend, he shared his lung X-rays compared to healthy lungs as a message about how serious the virus is.

“Here are your lungs. Here are my lungs with 30 percent Covid damage. (White cloudy is bad). Any questions? I can answer one — this ain’t the flu. And ‘recovery’ is a very subjective, and long-term, question,” Fine tweeted.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis had no public events scheduled Sunday.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak