Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said this week that Florida is “not going back” on reopening despite the rising number of cases of the Chinese coronavirus in the state.
“We’re not going back, closing things,” DeSantis said on Tuesday. “I don’t think that that’s really what’s driving it. People going to a business is not what’s driving it.”
DeSantis, who last month noted that the median age of those testing positive for the virus is lowering, attributed the rise, in part, to social interactions among the younger crowd.
“I think when you see the younger folks — I think a lot of it is more just social interactions, so that’s natural,” the governor said.
“We’re open. We know who we need to protect. Most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what’s going on, are just simply much, much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups,” he explained.
Coronavirus cases have continued to rise in Florida, which reported 6,563 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, slightly down from the 6,093 reported the day prior. The latest numbers come on the heels of the state’s single-day high on Saturday, reporting 9,585 cases.
DeSantis has refused to yield to critics and implement far-reaching orders statewide, leaving such actions to localities and individual business owners.
“We’re not going to do that statewide,” DeSantis said of mounting demands for a statewide mask mandate. “We wanted to have a collaborating effort with the locals from the beginning.”
“Different areas have handled this differently based on their facts and circumstances, and even today you see obviously discrepancies throughout the state,” he added.
While the state has since suspended on-premises consumption of alcohol at bars, indoor dining, gyms, and salons remain opened statewide, albeit with certain restrictions:
Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide.
— HalseyBeshears (@HalseyBeshears) June 26, 2020
Florida has reported 169,447 positive cases and 3,650 coronavirus-related fatalities since March 1.