Statewide and in Santa Rosa County, daily new COVID-19 cases are breaking records.
One in every four cases of COVID-19 in the county who have been infected tested positive within the last week, and Florida saw nearly 9,000 new cases in a single day of test reporting, resulting in yet another record breaking spread of infection.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of Lee Health system addressed the concerns Friday during a press conference.
DeSantis said the increase is in part due to increased testing. He also pointed out that the majority of new cases are among those younger than 35, typically asymptomatic and without serious complications.
“Those groups are going to be by and large at much lower risk for serious complications,” DeSantis said.
While those individuals may not have serious health risks, they can spread the virus, even if they are not showing signs of infection.
“You have a responsibilty to be careful if you are in contact with vulnerable people,” he said.
Lee Health President and CEO Dr. Lawrence Antonucci implored citizens to wear masks while in public, even if they are not sick and have no risk factors.
“I think we are getting complacent,” he said of mask wearing.
But DeSantis rejected the idea of requiring mandatory masking, calling on citizens to take responsibility for their actions and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
He also said individuals have been violating the orders since the beginning of restrictions.
Antonucci added, “As we see this increase, we can flatten it again.”