Editor’s note: The Department of Health originally announced there had been four new deaths, which we then reported. They later revised the number to three.
The number of novel coronavirus cases in Florida escalated again Monday evening with the latest update showing more than 1,200 total cases and three new deaths.
As of 6 p.m. Monday, there are 1,227 reported cases of COVID-19, including 1,147 Florida residents. The death toll went from 14 on Monday morning to 17 by the evening. That means the number of total cases increased by 56 in just seven hours. The three people who died were from Clay, Duval and Palm Beach counties.
Miami-Dade County has 278 cases, Broward County has 263 and Palm Beach County has 89 cases.
Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke to reporters shortly before the new numbers came out in a virtual press conference.
He announced he will issue an executive order requiring travelers flying in from New York and New Jersey to self-isolate upon reaching Florida to stop the spread of the virus from some of the nation’s coronavirus hotspots.
The Governor said it will be mandatory for anyone traveling from the two states to participate in self-isolation. Violating the order would constitute a criminal offense.
More than 190 direct flights still travel from the New York area to Florida daily.
“You have so many people working so hard, many people have sacrificed to try to protect our friends and neighbors, and I just think it would be unacceptable to continue to allow it — just simply coming in for people who are fleeing a shelter-in-place order in those states.”
Law enforcement will likely meet people on planes before they disembark and ask travelers screening questions and take their temperatures. People traveling would need to self-isolate, even away from family.
“That’s the only way we can be sure that that virus is not going to be reintroduced in the state of Florida and then spread,” DeSantis said in a televised address.
He said the only way he won’t issue the executive order is if President Donald Trump takes action first.
The Governor also strenuously argued to viewers why he has decided not to put a stay-at-home order into place at this time.
DeSantis compared the shelter-in-place order issued in New York to squeezing a water balloon.
“The minute you squeeze in one area, the water goes to the other part of the balloon.”
Florida Politics reporter Renzo Downey contributed to this report.