Infection numbers upticks, spikes, anomalies, and Gov. DeSantis’ concerns

desantis, ron - halifax
The Governor appears to remain sensitive to possible media criticism.

As Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak continues to ease throughout much of the state and Gov. Ron DeSantis begins his first “baby steps” to reopening the economy, the Governor continues to be concerned that people misinterpret positive test numbers to find fault with what he is doing.

Please don’t think that new cases reported in prisons mean particular counties are experiencing spikes, the Governor cautioned Sunday during a press conference at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Please don’t think the outbreak is rising again if an increase in testing shows an increase in cases identified, DeSantis urged.

If there is a new outbreak in the fall, Florida and the country will be better prepared, so don’t get too worried about that now, he pleaded.

“I think the trend, certainly on the syndromic indicators, has been very positive statewide,” DeSantis said.

Last week DeSantis rolled out Phase One of his plan to begin reopening Florida’s economy with what he called “baby steps,” a plan that was largely viewed as a cautious effort and even praised by some Democrats who had been urging the Governor to be extra careful.

Yet as he did so, the Governor began with a tirade against the media and others for being critical of him, for focusing on bad news, and reporting on worse scenarios than Florida experienced. Some of the frustration he expressed appeared to be in anticipation of reaction to his plan, a reaction that turned out pretty favorable.

On Sunday, on the eve of his Phase One, which includes limited openings of restaurants and retail businesses and resumptions of elective surgeries by hospitals, among other initiatives, he again took to defending against anticipated bad news reports that he predicted in advance as being misleading.

DeSantis pointed to his directives to loosen the requirements for who can be tested for the new coronavirus, so that people no longer even need to have symptoms to qualify for a test.

“That will allow us to identify infected people who are at very low risk for hospitalization or fatalities. But that’s a good thing that we know that, because that could be somebody that could spread it to one of the vulnerable populations. So, we’re going to identify more cases as we go along,” DeSantis said,

“I can already tell people that’s probably going to be spun in the media as, ‘Oh, my gosh! Florida just had, you know, like the other day, they had 995 new Florida cases on 4/30. Yeah, we tested 21,000 people that day, and the percent positive was 5%,” he said. “So we’re really going to be looking at that percent positive, making sure that’s under 10%.”

Volusia County, where he spoke, was offered as an example, Because the county is home to Tomoka Correctional Institution, case numbers spiked a couple of times in recent weeks, according to reports that were compiled and released by the prison.

He said the prison outbreaks and infections of inmates in staff are an obvious issue, but separate issue from community spread.

He noted Volusia’s daily counts of new cases were running 10 or fewer most days, spiking to 46 on Thursday, due to a report from the prison.

“Other than the prison positives, I don’t think Volusia has been over 3% [positive test rate] in about 10-12 days. So that’s a really good sign,” he said.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Margaret A Blustine

    May 3, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Positive 10 per cent daily is way high
    But cases actually higher per cent.look at 45 other states
    Not 10 per dent.god thats awful

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    May 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    It’s UNDER 10%. But you far lefties make up data. How much do they pay you to troll

    • Dana

      May 5, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      There have been 172 deaths since May 1st, when initial restrictions were lifted. Since last night, we’ve had 72 deaths: 45 in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach & 27 in all other counties.

      DeSantis is not taking into account the number of people dying and the seriousness of this virus. People are not wearing masks and taking into consideration the spread they can cause. I don’t care if he thinks, it only concerns people over 50. It doesn’t.

      I don’t wish this on anyone, but perhaps he should have a family member who’s had the virus & died or know someone who’s had it, to understand what is actually going on, instead of worrying about looking good for Trump.

      I know the economy is the #1 priority, but saving lives is the most important thing. Once someone dies, they can never come back. Being smart goes a long way.

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 4, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Test! Cover your mouths! Covid 19 leaves a trail as you move and breathe! Til treatment and vaccine is not if but when. Give science time! Cover your mouth!

  • martin

    May 6, 2020 at 7:08 am

    There has not been an accurate model to date. These models all predict the worse case scenario. That of the sky is falling. What we do know to date is; the more we test the higher the number of total infections, and the lower the fatality rate becomes.

    The fatality rate is currently at .03% of total infected. Of that, 80% of fatalities have occurred or are occurring in those over the age of 82. 40% of those fatalities to this age group have occurred or are occurring in nursing homes and other senior care facilities.

    Our politicians have been too busy locking down the general population and quarantining the vital, young, work force. Yet they have ignored the most vulnerable among our population. Cuomo and other governors have defied all logic by insisting that infected seniors be released from hospitals and be re-admitted to their senior care facilities. This has created the perfect storm of infection among this specific population.

    No one in the media has even raised this issue. Instead the media has created total panic in the general population, while not questioning why our state and local governments have been allowed to destroy our economy.

    Wake up people!! And don’t hold your breath waiting for the “vaccine”.

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    May 6, 2020 at 11:36 am

    “Syndromic indicators” A term only a Yale/Harvard man could concoct. The Ivy League can be overrated (I am one).

Comments are closed.


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