Six days of 1K-plus cases: Ron DeSantis attributes COVID growth to expanded testing
Image via AP.

DeSantis
The streak ended Monday when 966 cases were reported.

State health officials are identifying as many, if not more, daily coronavirus cases in recent days as they did during the peak of the pandemic in April.

A recent influx of new cases has coincided with the start of Phase Two of reopening, but Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state is testing far more individuals, driving up the number of returning positive tests.

In the past two weeks, Florida has tested an average of 30,000 individuals daily. Between Tuesday and Sunday — when the state saw six consecutive days of more than 1,000 new cases, including a record-setting 1,426 cases Saturday — the daily testing average jumped to nearly 38,000.

But in late March and early April, the last time Florida experienced six straight days of more than 1,000 cases, the state was only testing 10,000 individuals per day.

“Part of this, I said from the very beginning, one of our goals was to increase testing just when we were entering the pandemic, but then a key part of the reopening is to really have widespread testing, so we’re now seeing that,” DeSantis said.

Monday’s 10 a.m. report shows only 966 new cases since Sunday’s report, which ended the report-to-report 1,000-plus case streak at five days. However, those reports don’t correspond to the cases per calendar day the Department of Health uses to show daily cases, daily testing and daily positivity rate among new cases, which reveals a continuing streak.

With 17 drive-thru and 35 walk-up state-supported testing sites, the state is continuing to expand its testing apparatus. And pharmacies, Home Depot and Publix are in the testing game with dozens more sites statewide.

“Testing more is good. It’s more convenient than ever before, but don’t mistake identifying more cases for thinking that there are more cases one day compared to two months ago,” the Governor said.

Testing capacity currently exceeds demand. In parts of the state, like Escambia County and Volusia County, drive-thru sites have seen as few as 15 visitors in one day while the sites can process hundreds of individuals.

DeSantis has highlighted nursing homes and prisons and the battlegrounds for outbreaks, but he added agricultural communities in Immokalee, Indiantown and Belleglade to the list of hot spots.

“What happens is, once it goes, because you’re in such close contact, it really spreads,” he said. “They’ve been really going in and aggressively testing all those areas, and there have been mitigation strategies that have been put in. Obviously you don’t want those folks mixing with the general public if you have an outbreak.”

Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in intensive care units has also dropped statewide from upward of 600 when Phase One of reopening began in early May to upwards of 400 now.

“I said when we reopened, we’re going to double testing, people are going to say, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s more cases,'” DeSantis said. “But I think if you understand the nature of this disease, particularly when you’re testing people like in these ag communities, a lot of these people are 30, 40, 20s years old, so clinical consequences were very low of that.”

As of Monday, the Department of Health has confirmed nearly 65,000 COVID-19 cases in the state. Including non-residents, 11,282 people have been hospitalized and 2,798 people have died.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government 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 [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


3 comments

  • Itwasplanned

    June 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Tests are inaccurate. Many false positives. No symptoms. Besides, all this lockdown was to “flatten curve” which we did. Hospitals have almost no covid patients. Protect vulnerable, and that’s it No more masks and distancing.

  • S.B. Anthony

    June 8, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    So, which is it?

    Jared Moskowitz says that “less and less people are coming to these sites, and we’ve seen that decline in the numbers.” And, as the author reports, testing capacity currently exceeds demand.

    Or, as DeSantis claims, the numbers are going up because Florida is testing more.

  • Sonja Fitch

    June 10, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    100000 by September! Remember Desantis is doing this so hims be in with goptrump cult sociopath racist sexist liar trump!

Comments are closed.


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