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As of Sunday morning, 830 people in Florida were infected by COVID-19, and 13 people in the state had died. More than 1,000 tests are pending.
And those are just the cases under monitoring by the Florida Department of Health. Another 674 people in the panhandle submitted nasal swabs for testing to Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital’s drive through testing site over four days.
Test results from independent labs evaluating those swabs are not expected back for another day or two according to marketing and communications manager Mike Burke.
In a press release this week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried said Florida is a week behind California’s response to the illness.
She is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a “stay-at-home” order for the state. As the third largest state in the country, Fried said Florida must ramp up response to prevent spread and save lives, even if the economic ramifications could be massive.
“A piecemeal approach of closing certain communities and businesses risks sowing further confusion,” her statement reads. “I encourage the Governor to take this decisive action today to save lives and preserve Florida’s economy for our shared future. I will stand by the Governor should he make this difficult decision, and I implore him to do so now.”
But DeSantis said in press conference this week issuing mandates that people are unlikely to follow will not achieve anything. Instead, he said making strategic closures and directions is the more effective method for curbing exposures.
Many government offices, public beaches, libraries, banks and fitness centers have closed to public visitation. However, a significant number of restaurants are still open by providing curbside and drive-through services. For a list of services provided by local restaurants and/or closures, please click HERE. Restaurants that would like to update their information or be added to the list, please email email@example.com
Still, identified cases in the state continue to climb daily according to the department of health.