TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he believes coronavirus has “stabilized” in Florida. The message came during a Florida coronavirus update after this weekend’s grave milestone of the state recording more than 200,000 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The news conference was held at UF Health The Villages hospital in The Villages. Gov. DeSantis spoke with health officials from the hospital, highlighting various hospital capacities throughout the state.
During the news conference, the governor said he believes the virus has now stabilized in the Sunshine State.
“I want us to be in May. I want us to be in early June, where we were at 3, 4 percent (positivity,)” said Gov. DeSantis. “We want to get back to that for sure. I think we’ve stabilized at where we’re at.”
Right now, the governor is resisting calls to issue a statewide mask order. Instead, he’s said he’s trusting Floridians to be responsible and make good decisions.
“There’s no doubt the mask protects you and protects others,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, said last week during a Senate hearing.
As the COVID-19 surge shifts to the west and south, leaders on both sides of the aisle implore Americans to wear masks.
In Texas, it’s now a requirement for all counties with more than 20 cases.
But in Florida, there’s still no statewide requirement for masks.
In three of the past five days, the Sunshine State saw more than 10,000 new daily coronavirus cases. The percentage of people testing positive has also dramatically gone up.
Some public health experts believe we may be the next epicenter of this virus.
“There’s no need to be fearful, let’s just focus on the facts,” said Gov. DeSantis.
The governor says the fact is Florida’s new average coronavirus patient is much younger, and less at risk of dying.
“Now we’ve also said now since May that if you can’t social distance, wearing a facial covering can cut down on the transmission, we believe, some,” said Gov. DeSantis. “But it’s not in lieu of social distancing.”
While wearing a mask is not required statewide, some cities and counties have mandated face coverings as cases continue to go up.
If you have a tip for investigator Mahsa Saeidi, send her an email at MSaeidi@WFLA.com
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