Nearly 10,000 positive coronavirus cases were reported in Florida Wednesday, and the state reported 97 new deaths due to COVID-19.
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently said states that are locked down are increasing in COVID-19 numbers at twice the rate of Florida.
We looked into the governor’s statements about the effects of the virus in Florida compared to other states.
A doctor told us Florida is seeing a lower number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, and it all comes down to factors such as weather and more people outdoors.
DeSantis said, “States that are locked down are seeing increasing cases at twice the rate we are.”
PolitifFact compared Florida to 10 other states with stricter requirements on businesses and people. Cases look lower in Florida compared to the others, but Oregon, Washington state and California had fewer deaths per capita.
PolitiFact says restrictions aren’t the only factor. The weather plays a role, something Dr. Rebekah Bernard agrees with. Bernard is the president of Collier County Medical Society.
“One of the ways to minimize the virus is to be outdoors in open spaces, so we’re fortunate here in Florida that it’s more feasible to be able to have activities outdoors and eat outdoors, where that is not a possibility for people up north,” Bernard said.
Bernard says there are other reasons Florida might be doing better than others.
“More humid, moist and warm air seem to allow those particles to fuse down and makes them heavy, so they are less likely to linger in the air where people can breathe them,” Bernard said.
Some people think it’s all about the atmosphere in Florida.
“Up north it’s dreary,” Deborah Wilkerson said. “Here, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. People have a smile on their face.”
Many are thankful to live in Florida during the pandemic.
“I think Florida is a magnificent state,” Wilkerson said. “I am honored and blessed to be here.”
PolitiFact rated DeSantis’ statement “half true.” PolitiFact also says the reference to “twice the rate we are” is not fully accurate either.
Out of the 10 states with the strictest rules, only about half of the cases and deaths were twice as high as Florida.