DeSantis: COVID-19 cases appearing to slow down in Florida

MIAMI (WSVN) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the coronavirus outbreak in South Florida may be starting to slow down, with the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 dropping in the last 24 hours.

On Monday, the state reported the lowest number of COVID cases since June, and even though South Florida still leads the way in terms of high numbers of cases, the governor said he’s happy with the way things are going.

“We have trends in Florida that have been trending in the right direction for many weeks now,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis went on the record saying the Sunshine State is showing progress in the fight against COVID-19.

During a stop in Panama City, he pointed to the decreasing number of COVID patients in Florida hospitals as just one of the positive signs.

“Statewide, the number of individuals who are showing up at emergency departments for COVID-like illnesses has been declining for weeks and weeks,” DeSantis said.

On Monday, the Department of Health reported 2,678 new COVID cases statewide.

But with 719 in Miami-Dade, 379 in Broward and 10 in Monroe, South Florida makes up 41% of the state’s coronavirus infections.

“The numbers still aren’t where we want to be. They’re heading in that direction, but they’re not where we want to be,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

Meanwhile, South Florida’s newest testing site got up and running in North Miami on Monday.

Officials started taking appointments over the weekend. They’re available to anyone 5 years of age and older, but minors must have a parent or guardian with them.

“Once we get to certain points here where out positivity rates are down and our hospitalization rates are down, then we can start to reopen,” Gimenez said.

“We’re seeing a slow but steady decline in patient admissions,” Dr. Yvonne Johnson, chief medical officer at South Miami Hospital, said.

While front-line workers at South Florida hospitals are seeing the surge slow and local leaders look for ways to reopen safely, experts are sending a reminder that we’re not out of the woods, continuing their pleas for us to remember the basics, like wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing.

“We really have to be very careful about maintaining that bubble when we’re not wearing a mask, because certainly, a lot of times in our own homes, we’re not wearing a mask, and we’re inviting people from outside of our home there and not wearing a mask,” Johnson said. “That’s how you are able to keep contracting the virus.”

According to the governor’s office, the number of COVID patients admitted to Florida hospitals has declined by 60% since the end of July.

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