New data shows the novel coronavirus is continuing to spread, with more than 3,000 now hospitalized with COVID-19.
But growth comes at the steady rates seen in last week rather than the exponential growth that marked March and early April.
Total cases climbed to 21,628 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 261 since this morning.
Deaths from the disease climbed to 571, with 39 more people reported dead between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to the Department of Health.
A total of 3,050 have been hospitalized with the disease.
The news comes as models adjust their projections for the pandemic predicting the virus will affect Florida longer, but claim fewer lives.
A University of Washington coronavirus pandemic model now predicts the pandemic will peak in Florida on April 26, five days later than UW predicted earlier in the week. The pushed-back date was accompanied by a steep reduction in expected deaths.
On April 7, estimates predicted upward of 240 Floridians a day would die from COVID-19. As of Saturday, the grim approximation had been halved. The most likely estimate, 112 deaths a day, is also significantly lower than The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projection from late last month.
The lower rate, 112 deaths a day, will lead to 4,000 Florida deaths by early August. Still traumatic, though two-fifths less so than the 6,770 deaths predicted in last Tuesday’s appraisal.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis once again pushed back on questions whether he was too lax in putting lockdown restrictions in place, while defending President Donald Trump’s assertion he can order from the White House for state stay-at-home orders to be lifted.
“You know, it’s interesting,” DeSantis said, “I watched the [President’s] briefings and you go back a week or two and he was being badgered by the press there.”
The badgering media, the Governor added, asked the President “why aren’t you shutting down these states? South Dakota doesn’t have stay-at-home, you know, whatever.”
“They were badgering about it and he was saying ‘well, it’s their decision’. Now they’re saying you don’t have the authority,” DeSantis said, regarding opening up the states as President Donald Trump has said.