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Fried demands release of more COVID data

Nikki Fried , began Wednesday what she said will be frequent updates on COVID-19 – advisories state health officials have scaled-back under Gov. Ron DeSantis. Fried, who along with U.S. Rep.

Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg are the leading Democrats challenging DeSantis for governor next year, ridiculed the Republican’s handling of the state’s rising case totals, saying there is an information ‘void.’

She contrasted it with how the state approaches hurricanes.

‘Can you imagine if it’s hurricane season and we have a report that says we have a hurricane coming, and that’s all the information we get?’ Fried said.

The Florida Department of Health early last month stopped reporting daily coronavirus statistics, moving, instead to a weekly report. But Fried said Floridians need more data as the state emerges as one of the nation’s leading COVID-19 hot spots.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says she will provide frequent COVID-19 updates.

Based on data from the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fried said Florida had 67,413 new cases in the past week – representing almost one-quarter of all new nationwide cases.

There also were 7,452 hospital admissions in Florida, the data showed – an almost 50% increase over the previous week, and a crush she said is straining capacity.

And there were 358 more COVID-19 deaths last week, according to the CDC reports, which are derived from information provided by the Health Department and Florida hospitals.

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