DeSantis on increase in COVID-19: More testing means more cases

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: Pool

The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Florida. Although many are concerned about the spike, Gov. Ron DeSantis said compared to other hotspots in the nation, Florida doesn’t compare.

Why isn’t DeSantis worried? Because, he said, the hospitals aren’t overwhelmed.

He argued Thursday that the increase in positive cases is directly linked to the increase in testing.

“As you’re testing more, you’re going to see more cases and most of the cases are sub-clinical cases.”

The governor said he won’t consider scaling back Florida’s reopening to “phase one” because of the increase in cases.

“Go look at New York, and what New York had. That’s a spike. So to say that there’s a spike, there’s just never been a spike in Florida. It’s been relatively modest.”

Florida has averaged more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day over the last week. DeSantis said the cases are in the usual hot spots, like long-term living facilities, and in agricultural communities like Immokalee, something Eladio Aviels knows firsthand.

“I tested positive a few weeks back,” he said, and he’s so concerned that he went to the CenturyLink Sports Complex in south Fort Myers on Thursday to get tested again.

“My concern is my family lives in Immokalee and there’s not much being done,” he said.

Aviels isn’t the only one worried about the spike. John Thomas said he has taken every precaution necessary.

“I don’t think people are taking this very seriously. I’ve been wearing a mask the whole time,” he said.

The increase in positive cases doesn’t bother others, like Amber Hardie. She’s getting tested because her friend tested positive.

“I’m not that worried. To me, I’m not.”

Statement from Lee Health on hospitalizations:

“Four weeks ago, we were averaging 80 COVID-19 patients in our hospitals each day. In the past two weeks the number of hospitalized patients has averaged between 110-120 patients. This increase in cases was expected as restaurants, beaches and businesses reopened and with the pent up demand for retail services many people were out and about.

“I understand how seeing an increase in cases can be worrisome, but we are in a much better position than we were three months ago and I want to be clear that Lee Health has the capacity today to continue to provide care for all who need it.”

Statement from NCH on hospitalizations:

“While cases are on the increase in our communities to the east, those requiring hospitalization at an NCH facility have remained stable, with total admitted positive COVID-19 patients averaging in the mid 50s daily since May 19th, which coincided with the reopening of Florida’s economy.

“However, In light of the spike of cases currently occurring, NCH has made the decision to continue with visitor restrictions at NCH hospitals, except for circumstances that involve the care of a minor or compassionate care / end-of-life cases. We feel strongly that our visitation restriction policy, while difficult, is effective in curbing the transmission of the Coronavirus, and we take this measure out of an abundance of caution to safeguard our patients wellbeing as well as that of their families.”


The Florida Department of Health has opened a 24-hour COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida Department of Health COVID-19 updates

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