Florida reports largest COVID-19 case increase in nearly a month

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida reported more than 6,000 COVID-19 cases on Thursday for the first time in nearly a month.

The state added 6,790 new cases on Thursday, which is the highest increase in numbers since March 2.

READ: Coronavirus: How long does immunity last after a COVID-19 vaccine?

Thursday also marked the first time Orange County reported more than 500 cases since Feb. 5.

In total, of the latest cases, 1,499 were reported in Central Florida.

The state also reported an additional 71 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, including 16 in central Florida.

The increases come as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of new rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests manufactured by two different companies, multiple media outlets reported.

READ: Coronavirus: FDA approves 2 rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests with no prescription required

The Quidel QuickVue test, which should be administered twice over three days with 24 to 36 hours between tests, reportedly provides test results in 10 minutes, while the Abbott BinaxNOW test, which should be administered twice over three days with 36 hours between tests, delivers results in roughly 15 minutes, The Hill reported.

“The public can be assured these tests have met our scientific standards for emergency use authorization,” Jeff Shuren, a top FDA official overseeing testing, told the outlet.

READ: When will children be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The authorizations mean consumers will be able to purchase rapid coronavirus tests at chain pharmacies and grocery stores without a prescription, USA Today reported.

Click here to read more about the tests.

Watch: Here’s where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in your county

See a county-by-county breakdown of total (and new) cases below, and click here for an interactive map of cases statewide:

ORANGE: CASES: 124,227 (+544); DEATHS: 1,189 (+3)

OSCEOLA: CASES: 39,766 (+162); DEATHS: 487 (+2)

SEMINOLE: CASES: 30,154 (+102); DEATHS: 468 (+2)

POLK: CASES: 61,390 (+215); DEATHS: 1,260 (+6)

VOLUSIA: CASES: 38,413 (+148); DEATHS: 717 (0)

BREVARD: CASES: 37,326 (+136); DEATHS: 809 (+1)

FLAGLER: CASES: 6,697 (+12); DEATHS: 96 (0)

LAKE: CASES: 26,776 (+97); DEATHS: 607 (+1)

MARION: CASES: 29,105 (+61); DEATHS: 920 (+1)

SUMTER: CASES: 8,812 (+22); DEATHS: 257 (0)

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.