DeSantis Believes Florida Will Soon Contain Virus Outbreak

Oscar Amuz, with Volunteers in Action, loads groceries into cars during a food distribution event, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at St. Monica's Catholic Church in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed confidence Tuesday that Florida will soon contain its coronavirus outbreak and that hospitals can handle the current influx of patients, putting forward a positive case even as the state’s average daily death toll is now the nation’s worst.

DeSantis told reporters at a state capitol news conference that hospital admissions and the percentage of tests coming back positive seem to be plateauing or declining in much of the state and that hospitals have sufficient capacity in their intensive care units and overall.

“The trend is much better today than it was two weeks ago,” DeSantis said. “I am confident that we will get through this. I am confident that the folks…in our hospital systems will continue to do a great job and meet the demand. There is a lot of anxiety and fear out there and I think we are going to be able to get through it. We are not there yet.”

The news conference came shortly after the state health department recorded another 134 deaths, bringing Florida’s daily average for the past week to 115, reflecting the increasing infection rate the state was seeing starting last month.

That figure tops the 112 deaths a day Texas has reported during that period, Associated Press statistics show. California, with nearly double the population of Florida, is at 93 deaths a day over the last week. A month ago, Florida was averaging 33 coronavirus deaths a day. Still, Florida is seeing one-sixth the 700 deaths a day New York experienced in April, when the crisis was at its peak. That state is now down to 10 deaths a day.

Overall, 5,317 people have died in Florida from COVID-19 since the outbreak began in the state March 1 and nearly 370,000 have tested positive for the disease. About 19% of tests have returned positive in Florida over the last week: that figure has plateaued over the last two weeks, a sign that the spread might be slowing, but it is double compared to the 10% rate of a month ago and well above the state’s 2.3% in late May.

The state reported Tuesday that an additional 517 people have been admitted to hospitals with the disease. Still, the number of people being treated for COVID-19 in Florida hospitals was stable over the past 24 hours, for the first time since the state began releasing the statewide, hour-to-hour census of patients on July 10. At the time, that number was about 6,800 and rising by several hundred a day.

The number hospitalized in the late morning Tuesday stood at 9,436 , down a notch from the 9,452 patients 24 hours earlier.

“The capacity of the health care system is strong,” said Mary Mayhew, the secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. “I know people are scared around the state, but they should have confidence in the health care.”

Chris Plance, a health care analyst in Miami-Dade County, said Florida hospitals will see high patient demand for the foreseeable future, which he believes could result in burnout among doctors, nurses and other staff.

“You can run these beds forever, but you can’t run a person forever,” said Plance of Hialeah-based PA Consulting. “Staff is going to get sick and they’re going to have problems staffing at the level they are. This is going to become more and more of a problem.”

DeSantis said he fears some patients suffering possible heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies are not going to the hospital because they are afraid of contracting the virus.

“COVID is very important but COVID is just one aspect of the overall health care system and the health needs of Floridians,” he said.

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3 years ago

It would be nice if he was right this time. He is due.

3 years ago

magical thinking. The virus will stop after many people die.

Educated Archy
Educated Archy
3 years ago

Hopefully by the end of Aug it will be like NY is now and its safe to hold our convention.

The virus seems to come and go. We don’t have much control over this animal. But it seems like the eibshter decides when these areas should be hit , then picks it up and moves it. Even trying to hid like we did in israel won’t work. However, BH it looks like the malach hamaves comes does his job and goes.

3 years ago

On Tuesday, the state Department of Health’s latest figures for coronavirus cases among residents at long-term care facilities reached 4,798, a 139 percent increase since June 22. Cases among staff members rose 82 percent to 7,084 in the same time.

Florida reported 139 deaths among state residents associated with the novel coronavirus Wednesday, the highest since a record 156 on July 16.

The 139 new COVID-19 deaths increased the state’s cumulative total to 5,345. In the past seven days, Florida has verified 824 resident deaths related to COVID-19.

The Florida Department of Health also reported 9,785 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, increasing the state’s total to 379,619.

The cumulative percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Florida increased to 12.02% Wednesday.

Wednesday was the 29th consecutive day with at least 5,000 positive cases statewide.

The number of Florida residents hospitalized with COVID-19 increased to 22,243 since the pandemic began. The Department of Health notes the total figure is cumulative and does not reflect the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospitals.

henry reitzenstein
henry reitzenstein
3 years ago

what a clown Desantis is…who can forget the video of him bragging that there was no virus eight weeks after reopening…he was taunting the reporters, now he looks like a complete idiot