COVID-19 rises in Florida, other states, but responses are different

Reporter: Sara Girard Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Credit: via WINK News.

Florida, Texas and California are all reporting the highest death tolls among states in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began. As cases grow, more governors are imposing restrictions. But Gov. Ron DeSantis has not decided to do the exact same thing.

We continued to look at what the state is doing to respond to the pandemic Friday, as it continues to spread — Florida Department of Health reporting more than 11,400 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours.

“So what’s really clear is Florida is not testing enough,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of Harvard Global Health Institute. “One out of five tests that they’re doing is turning out positive.”

Gov. DeSantis insists there are enough hospital beds to handle the patient load.

“No major system, or nobody that we have been seeing yet, has even gone yet to a surge level,” DeSantis said publicly.

A Florida physician group is urging a statewide mandatory mask order.

Other states are also reporting rising spread. For the tenth consecutive day, Texas reported a new high for hospitalizations. The Texas governor has extended his disaster declaration.

“I think the numbers are going to look worse as we go into next week,” Gov. Greg Abbott said publicly.

And Nevada’s governor reimposed restrictions on bars and restaurants in certain counties.

“He wants to slow down the spiking and spread of [COVID-19],” bar owner Brian Slipock said. “We understand that. But why didn’t he also close down the casinos?”

And Michigan’s governor toughened her state’s mask requirement. Now, face coverings are required in public outdoor settings where social distancing isn’t possible, and businesses must deny service or entry to customers who refuse to wear a mask.

Meanwhile, Disney World reopens to the public Saturday, but with strict health protocols in place.

And World Health Organization reported a record increase in global infections Friday — a worldwide total of more than 12 million. One-quarter of them are in the U.S.

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