White House report: Florida is in coronavirus ‘red zone,’ needs to take immediate action

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force are seeing red in Florida.

A recent report on the spread of COVID-19 in the state shows officials need to take immediate action to slow the spread of the virus.

The report, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, breaks down the success of the state’s efforts to control and prevent the spread of coronavirus. It shows Florida in a ‘red zone’ with “unrelenting community spread” and “inadequate mitigation”.

According to the report, Florida may be ranked in the bottom half of state for rate of positive and new cases per 100,000, but “rankings are almost irrelevant as the entire country is surging.” The report points out, “many state and local governments are not implementing the same mitigation policies that stemmed the tide of the summer surge; that must happen now.”

Two Florida newspapers are suing Governor Ron DeSantis, claiming he did not release the Dec. 6 report in a timely manner. The governor had not responded to the allegations as of Monday. DeSantis ruled out additional business restrictions and mask mandates earlier in December.

“What’s tragic is we actually know what to do, and it’s not being done,” Dr. Kami Kim, the University of South Florida’s Director of Infections Diseases told 8 On Your Side. “We don’t have to have a whole total lockdown to have a real impact on how many people get sick.”

The White House taskforce recommends aggressive testing to find asymptomatic individuals, stronger mask wearing policies and closing or reducing capacity at indoor spaces. The group also says state and local government should be warning families about gatherings during December holidays.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests celebrating at home or virtually, avoiding large gatherings, and wearing masks.

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