DeSantis pivots on Covid-19 thrust, says test ignores spike

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Ron DeSantis speaking at an event. | AP Photo / Lynne Sladky

TALLAHASSEE – Gouv. Ron DeSantis acknowledged on Saturday that the growing number of new Covid-19 cases in Florida cannot be explained by an increase in the trial, and announced plans to apply social distancing practices in bars and nightclubs.

“Even with the increase test or being flat, the number of people whose test accelerates faster than that,” DeSantis told reporters during a state capitol briefing. “You know this is proof that there is transmission in these communities.”

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The Florida Department of Health reported that more than 4,000 new Covid-19 diagnoses on Friday, Florida’s last positive peak case that began to climb about a month after the state began to reopen its economy, May 4. The rate of new coronavirus cases has more than doubled in the past 10 days. On Friday, just over 12% of test results gave a positive result for Covid-19, which represents a 5.5% increase over June 10, according to a report from the Florida Department of Health.

Earlier this week, when the state recorded nearly 2,800 Covid-19 cases, DeSantis attributed the peak increase in screening tests among migrant farm workers and low-income communities. Nationally, Vice President Mike Pence has also sought to minimize the increase in cases by pointing to more screening. But DeSantis said on Saturday that some businesses – including bars with young bosses seen wrapped close to each other and not social distance – need to be cropped.

“You hear reports from people who are jam packed over there and it’s just not the way we’re going to do things,” DeSantis said. “There’s a reason it was done this way, and it didn’t come out of a hat.”

Compliance officials with the State Department of Business and Regulatory Affairs pay visits to watering holes, he said, noting that most new Covid-19 cases among people between 20 and 40 years. If he said there are concerns about the spread community.

“These are things we have to face and we are looking forward to doing so,” DeSantis said.

Even with more evidence of community broadcasting, DeSantis has refrained from requiring people to wear masks in public. The state approved the mask to use the guidelines defined by the CDC in May, but DeSantis argues a broad mandate would be impossible to uphold.

“If you say you are going to be sued or you wear a mask, they will say,” Well, they told me not to wear one in March now, they say to do it, ” DeSantis says. “We will trust people to make good decisions.”

Florida cases have increased because previous US hot spots, such as New York, have seen their fall. A Johns Hopkins University of Medicine website shows the state saw 603 new diagnoses on Thursday, a significantly lower figure than Florida’s 3,315 cases as of the same day.

DeSantis, a Republican, was a critic of New York Gouv. Andrew Cuomo, when reports emerged about patients with Covid-19 being placed inside nursing homes. He also ordered all visitors from New York to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

Now, with Florida facing more than six times the number of new cases from New York, Cuomo is considering about 40 visitors from Florida.

“I think the governors are going to do what they need to do,” DeSantis said. “I would just like to ask if it is done, just please do not quarantine the Floridians come to nursing homes in New York.”

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