Florida adds 39,000 new COVID cases from Christmas weekend

December 28, 2021 GMT
An Orange County family gets tested at the Econ Soccer Complex on the first day of the new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site hosted by Orange County Health Services at the park off East Colonial Drive, in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. At its peak, a line of cars was backed up several miles as thousands of Orange County residents sought testing during the current spike of infections across Central Florida from the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
An Orange County family gets tested at the Econ Soccer Complex on the first day of the new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site hosted by Orange County Health Services at the park off East Colonial Drive, in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. At its peak, a line of cars was backed up several miles as thousands of Orange County residents sought testing during the current spike of infections across Central Florida from the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
An Orange County family gets tested at the Econ Soccer Complex on the first day of the new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site hosted by Orange County Health Services at the park off East Colonial Drive, in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. At its peak, a line of cars was backed up several miles as thousands of Orange County residents sought testing during the current spike of infections across Central Florida from the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
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An Orange County family gets tested at the Econ Soccer Complex on the first day of the new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site hosted by Orange County Health Services at the park off East Colonial Drive, in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. At its peak, a line of cars was backed up several miles as thousands of Orange County residents sought testing during the current spike of infections across Central Florida from the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
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An Orange County family gets tested at the Econ Soccer Complex on the first day of the new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site hosted by Orange County Health Services at the park off East Colonial Drive, in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. At its peak, a line of cars was backed up several miles as thousands of Orange County residents sought testing during the current spike of infections across Central Florida from the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — Florida reported 39,000 new COVID-19 cases on Monday from the Christmas weekend, as thousands of people waited in lines for tests following holiday gatherings and flights on crowded airplanes.

Florida reported 17,955 new cases from Sunday and another 21,040 cases from Christmas Day, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida has seen a sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases in the past week. Last Friday, it added more than 32,000 cases, a day after reporting 31,000 in one day as well.

Following the Christmas weekend, thousands of Floridians around the state lined up sometimes for hours Monday to get COVID-19 tests. At a testing site on the east side of Orlando, some people waited three hours for their turn.

“I feel terrible. I feel like I wanna be at home in bed, take a cold shower. It’s getting tough out here,” Irma Bernabe told Orlando television station WESH.

At Miami-Dade County libraries, workers handed out 90,000 free take-home COVID tests, according to the Miami Herald. The county also distributed more than 12,000 tests at its libraries on Christmas Eve.

The number of new COVID-19 cases even forced the cancellation of the latest performance of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” by the Miami City Ballet.

The dance company said it had to make “the difficult decision,” and only announced it publicly about an hour before the Sunday afternoon show at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami.

“These are challenging times for all and we truly appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate the necessary changes,” said the statement posted on the company’s Instagram page.

The Miami City Ballet has not yet announced whether the final performances slated for Wednesday and Thursday in West Palm Beach will go on as planned.

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