Model shows Florida ranks among highest in the nation for COVID-19 spread

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New data that measures how the novel coronavirus is spreading and forecasts the average number of people who will become infected by a single infectious person shows that Florida may rank among the highest in the nation for virus spread and reproduction.

According to GitHub, Florida ranks the sixth highest in the nation behind Montana, Arizona, Oklahoma, Vermont and Oregon for the largest number of people who will become infected by one infections person.

The model as of Wednesday evening assessed Florida with a Rt COVID-19 value of 1.06. According to the model, if the Rt  value is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly, but when Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading.

Florida is led by Montana and Arizona with a score of 1.10 and is tied with Oklahoma, Vermont and Oregon.

Florida has maintained its rank at sixth in the nation for more than six weeks, the model shows.

The state was not, however, always above a 1.0 Rt  value.

The model shows that Florida remained below the 1.0 Rfrom April 29, when the shelter order was in effect, until May 10, seven days after the shelter order was lifted.

According to the modeling, Florida’s Rt score peaked on May 28 when it reached a high 0f 1.08.

As of the latest update, the state reported 2,472 new cases Tuesday, raising the total number of cases to 82,719.

Additionally, Florida recorded 10 more deaths, raising the death toll to 3,110 deaths including 3,018 Floridians.

Despite the uptick in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that the state is not “rolling back” its effort to reopen.

“We’re not shutting down. We’re going to go forward,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to continue to protect the most vulnerable. We’re going to urge, continue to advise particularly our elderly population, to maintain social distancing, avoid crowds.”

DeSantis has instead attributed the rise in cases to increased testing and argues that Florida’s hospital bed occupancy remains at safe levels.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Sonja Fitch

    June 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    If you doubted that Desantis is brain washed by the goptrump cult just look at his decisions! Desantis is incapable of grasping the dead reality of his decisions! Desantis does not care as long as goptrump cult leader trump says it is ok!

  • BlueHeron

    June 17, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    DeSantis has learned well from his “Master”. From day one, he was almost like a carbon copy in his tone, attitude,being profoundly ill-equipped and his callous disregard for the people of this state. Every is great. Pay no attention to the bodies in the corner. Nothing to see here.

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