Florida reports 7,300 new COVID-19 cases, 165 virus-related deaths

As vaccine distribution increases, reaching specific populations becomes more difficult

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida reported an additional 7,342 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

The new cases include 1,415 in Central Florida. Orange County reported the largest case increase with 394 new cases.

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The state also reported an additional 165 virus-related deaths on Wednesday, including eight non-Florida residents.

The latest deaths bring the state’s death toll from the virus to 29,824.

The deaths reported on Wednesday include 44 in Central Florida, with both Polk and Volusia counties reported double-digit increases in deaths.

“Coronavirus

The U.S. is scrambling to expand DNA mapping of coronavirus samples taken from patients to identify potentially deadlier mutations that are starting to spread around the country.

On Wednesday, the White House announced a scaled-up push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and by a U.S. Army biodefense institute.

CDC wants to triple the number of tests it’s now doing, bringing them to about 25,000 a week.

But the more significant action is on Capitol Hill. The House COVID-19 relief bill would provide $1.75 billion for mapping virus genes, while a Wisconsin Democratic senator has introduced legislation to spend $2 billion.

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

Orange: CASES: 110,518 (+394), DEATHS: 1,060 (+6)

Polk: CASES: 55,058 (+229), DEATHS: 1,087 (+10)

Osceola: CASES: 35,689 (+113), DEATHS: 414 (+2)

Volusia: CASES: 33,295 (+203), DEATHS: 622 (+11)

Brevard: CASES: 32,445 (+168), DEATHS: 710 (+4)

Marion: CASES: 26,616 (+70), DEATHS: 700 (+9)

Seminole: CASES: 26,142 (+117), DEATHS: 405 (+1)

Lake: CASES: 23,655 (+68), DEATHS: 525 (-1)

Sumter: CASES: 7,668 (+34), DEATHS: 224 (0)

Flagler: CASES: 5,689 (+19), DEATHS: 86 (+1)

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.