“I was young once and I understand the mindset,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, surrounded by doctors from the Ascension Sacred Heart hospital in Pensacola on June 28th.
DeSantis explained at a Sunday press conference that the surge in COVID-19 cases, which have almost tripled from a week ago when on June 22nd 2,926 cases seemed excessive, can be blamed on more testing and more socializing.
That number reported on June 28th is 8,530 and according to DeSantis it is because the heat is driving people indoors and causing more gatherings to happen for events such as graduations.
“As it gets warmer people are going indoors in A/C and close spaces,” he said and then he emphasized the three Cs as a mitigation effort. Avoid closed in spaces, crowds and contact.
DeSantis closed bars throughout the state on Friday, attributing the decision to the age group that is testing positive the most and to the bars that did not follow CDC guidelines and allowed those crowds to gather indoors without wearing masks.
Ages “25 to 34 is now by far the leading age group for positive tests in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said, adding that in those younger age groups, there are “very, very low fatality rates.”
While other states seeing a surge in cases such as Texas and California are backing off opening plans and mandating face mask use, DeSantis is sticking to the same plan, which is to “protect the most vulnerable,” he said and he is maintaining a “no visitors” policy at the more than 4,000 long-term care facilities where residents can only interact with relatives through windows or via Facetime.
He also ordered testing of all LTC employees every two weeks as a way to stay on top of any introduction of COVID-19 to the elder care homes.
DeSantis acknowledges that the state’s positivity rate that was in the 3 to 5 percent range in May through the beginning of June has “jumped here in the last 10 days,” to ranges from 5 to 12 percent positive in parts of the state.
Chief Medical Officer of Ascension Sacred Heart Health System Dr. Peter Jennings had this to say, “There have been notable increases in cases in recent days.
“No matter age or health status, everyone needs to take this virus seriously,” Dr. Jennings said. Maintaining social distance, don’t gather in crowds, cough into your elbow, disinfect frequently shared surfaces and if you suspect you have COVID-19, get tested and stay quarantined, he listed.
“Wear a mask in public,” he said. “I wear one to protect you, you wear one to protect me.”