Ron DeSantis: Virus spread has ‘plateaued’ in last two weeks
Image via Colin Hackley.

BUDGET062920CH17
It's a high plateau, but a plateau nonetheless.

Although Florida continues to tally several thousand daily COVID-19 cases — sometimes more than 10,000 in a day — Gov. Ron DeSantis finds consolation in the details.

For the final 14 days of May, the percent positivity rate for prospective new cases was 2.8% before turning upward midway through June. Over the past two weeks, the average rate was 14.5%, including 12.6% for tests returned Friday.

“We increased from the end of June into July, but it’s been plateaued for the last two weeks, which is a good sign,” he told reporters Saturday. “We’d rather be plateaued at 4%, but we didn’t want to see it continue to just go up and up.”

Calling the current state of the virus a plateau hearkened back to mid April, when Surgeon General Scott Rivkees announced he believed the state was “essentially at a plateau” in new cases, then just above 1,000. Early April was ultimately the peak of the pandemic’s first wave in Florida.

While the daily positivity rate has been mostly stable in recent days, the weekly cycle of new cases has trended upward. In the second half of May, the state recorded a few hundred new COVID-19 cases daily, and more than 1,000 on occasion. But Saturday’s update from health officials included 10,360 cases.

DeSantis, who was in Bradenton Saturday for a press conference at Blake Medical Center, warned against focusing on the daily increase in cases.

“When cases are reported to the state, that’s a positive test that could’ve been taken seven days ago, eight days ago,” he said. “When that infection occurred is not even clear. Some of these infections may have even occurred two weeks ago when a test finally gets reported to a state from a private lab.”

And with more individuals getting tested, DeSantis says the rising case numbers is just more evidence about how the virus is spreading. On Friday, the state received test results for 87,065 individuals, which would have been a daily record had the state not received tests for 95,335 people the day before.

But with the ballooning amount of daily testing, labs are running short on the material used to analyze samples in diagnostic tests. The Governor said he has spoken to the White House about securing more re-agent, but with tens of thousands of asymptomatic people getting tested, the demand is outpacing supply.

“The problem is the U.S. is testing more on a daily basis than any country by far, and the lab resources are backed up,” he said. “Some of these turnaround times — they’re supposed to be 48 hours — some of the big commercial labs are running three or four days behind that. Some of the supplies are starting to run low.”

Emergency department visits for symptoms related to COVID-19 of the flu are also down in recent days, but DeSantis warned that could be “more noise than signal,” instead bookmarking that metric as something to revisit in the coming days.

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.


9 comments

  • Margan ustin

    July 11, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Doesn’t any reporter get it all de santis talks abt is cases totals and positivity rates because he can control those and does,

    IS over 169 dead dally and hospitals at capacity is ONLY THING IMPORTANT AND THEY ARE AT RED FLAG CATROSPHIC POINT many WEEKS.

    Hospitalizations deaths so high he’s going to now pUT sick and dying in convention centers building etc on cots in impossible to sanitize places.

    HIS CONTINUING MANTRA IF CASE TOTALS POSITIVITY RATE IS DELIBERATE TO DISTRACT REPORTERS AND FLORIDA FROMAHA FLORIDA IS AT POINT THAT ONLY STRICT LOCKDOWN WILL SLOW CATROSPHICU RESULTS.

    DE SANTIS SAYING PLATEAUED AT 10000 11000 DAILY AND 100 TO 200 DEAD DAILY OK IS EXACTLY WHAT’S HE’S SAYING. IT’S UNACCEPTABLE.
    BUSINESSES CLOSING SICK WORKERS DEAD CUSTOMERS SCARED TOURISTS NOT COMING.

    YET HE CONTINUES DOWNPLAY FOR TRUMPS CONVENTION WHICH WONT BE MUCH IF HAPPEN AT ALL.

    HOW STUPID AND DEADLY WILL DE SANTIS BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE ON THIS PATH OF DESTRUCTION BY OTHER LEADERS IN FLORIDA??, HE’S INHUMANE AND A PLATEAU OF 11000 CASES DOUBE DIGIT POSITIVITY RATE HE LIES ABOUT AND FIllED HOSPITALS with 1200 PERCENT INCREASE cases record high need icu SINCE LOCKDOWN must be stopped.his resignation must be demanded now before he fills
    Hls unsafe impossible to sanitize many many buildings all over florida as he plans to do instead of being worse with 4 states red flagged that show only way slow virus at all in florida is strict lockdown and fines which he can enforce and he knows it.

    Plateau at over 100 dead daily ok he says.plateau with daily numbers hospitalizations filling hospitals ok he says.
    This is pure criminal mass murder of lives and economy all to hold a convention?,,

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 11, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    Can you imagine the “plateau “ in 15 more days! Look what has happened in15 days! Damn! If this is not a “plateau”. Florida will surpass NY! The opening of theme parks is reckless and dangerous! Cancel the damn RNC! Our children are more important than Fing money!

  • S.B. Anthony

    July 11, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    This thing is raging and will continue to rage through the summer, into the fall, and into winter. If anyone thinks we’re safe anytime soon, they’re fooling themselves. Don’t believe the happy talk from DeSantis or tRump. Wear a mask and stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out for the true essentials, not the gyms, the haircuts, the restaurants, or the mani/pedis.

    It’s based on science, not wishful thinking. Notice how Fauci been gagged for two months?

    • BlueHeron

      July 12, 2020 at 12:57 am

      I second that.
      Fauci gagged for sure. Trump talking him up though like he always does before the firing happens. I wonder if he’ll have the cahones to fire Fauci. Correction:… to have anyone but himself fire Fauci.

  • Frankie M.

    July 11, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Spin baby spin! As the good Monsignor used to say we go from plateau to plateau. It seems fitting that the roller coasters are open now. Welcome to the upside down!

  • BlueHeron

    July 12, 2020 at 12:44 am

    https://covidtracking.com/data/charts/all-metrics-per-state

    This is the data from The COVID Tracking Project which is a major source of real time data for the WH, various states, Johns Hopkins and anyone else who is interested.
    If you click the link and don’t immediately see the Florida chart, move to the right and choose Florida in the drop down box.

    Now, DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A PLATEAU? Does almost straight up and to the right mean a plateau?

    Plateau defined (verb) “reach a state of little or no change after a time of activity or progress”.
    Plateau doesn’t even work as a (noun) “an area of relatively level high ground”.

    DeSantis is blabbering on about this metric and that metric. Twisting himself into a pretzel. He still doesn’t know how to digest the data and present it. Even the “missing” data that is “forthcoming”.
    He should literally just shut up.

  • BlueHeron

    July 12, 2020 at 1:00 am

    If any of you are unaware of what covid looks like, you don’t want to know.
    Covid has now penetrated my world. 1 sick waiting 5-10 days for results. 1 probable exposure waiting 7-10 days for test. Another actively sick, untested and perilously close to making the trip to hospital.
    Our local hospital/s bed capacity right now is not comforting.

    You do not want this.Trust me. This invisible beast is everywhere. Close. Very close.

    Do the right things and MASK-UP.

  • gary lopez

    July 12, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    No mask for me

    • Henry

      July 13, 2020 at 10:41 am

      DeSantis says we plateaud at 4% now at 18%. So next plateau where? 25%, 50%? So the percent positive going up means nothing to this moron? He is going to kill us just to suck up to his buddy in the white house. We need to get this bozo out of office as soon as possible. Idiot!!What’s going to happen when kids go back to school and start spreading this thing to their parents. How many single parents will die from being contaminated by the kids coming from school? What’s going to happen to those kids with single parents?

Comments are closed.


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