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Scott Rivkees says coronavirus will definitely be in schools, its a matter of how to respond if an outbreak hits.


Department of Health touts healthy Florida in Ron DeSantis’ first year

Hepatitis A, HIV efforts top the department’s list of accomplishments in 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) highlighted successful health outcomes this year for Floridians in a year-end statement.

As 2019 ends, so does Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first year in the Governor’s Mansion.

“Florida is the third largest state in the third largest nation, so ensuring quality health services for our residents and visitors is a monumental duty,” DeSantis said. “I am proud to recognize the public health accomplishments being made on a daily basis and I applaud the passionate men and women who serve to provide their communities with the essential health services that make Florida the healthiest state to live, work and play.”

And Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez said DOH’s work will improve public health now and for future generations.

“It is crucial that we remain vigilant in these efforts towards improving public health so that all Floridians can lead their healthiest lives,” Núñez said.

Surgeon General Scott Rivkees added that DOH’s successes this year stems from its mission to protect Floridians.

“The value and care we have for the wellbeing of our citizens is what drives the Department to generate positive health outcomes for all men, women and children across this great state,” Rivkees said.

The department coordinated a statewide investigation and response to more than 3,300 cases of Hepatitis A, nearly triple the number identified in the past five years combined. Local department offices and public health partners have provided more than 130,000 vaccines.

DOH also received a three-year $58.8 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address drug overdoses and the opioid epidemic. The Overdose Data to Action grant, which began in September, will fund emergency department data collection and dissemination.

And for HIV prevention, DOH awarded nearly $500,000 in planning grants for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Duval, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Orange counties, the seven counties with the highest incidence rates.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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