As the country keeps an eye on the status of Florida reopening businesses last week, current health data shows the number of COVID-19 cases has risen at a seemingly stable rate.
Local restaurants, retail stores, and certain businesses like gyms, barbershops, and salons, were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity and with precautions in place. As of now, precautions include social distancing of six feet and temperature checks.
While data on testing is showing progress, data provided by the Florida Health Department shows that the state as a whole isn’t making major progress toward bringing its cases and deaths down since reopening. Yet, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly says the state needs its economy to “ start as soon as possible.”
According to the health department, COVID-19 testing rates have risen to nearly 60,000 a day and the governor has increased lab capacity above 30,000 per day. Florida has tested 677,710 people for the virus as of Monday, which is a jump of nearly 220,000 from May 1.
There were 45,235 confirmed cases out of the total 458,156 tests as of May 1st. Which is roughly 10%. As of May 18, the state health department said there were 46,442 positive tests out of the 677,710 tested or roughly 7%.
According to the Health Department, the Florida National Guard will assist local counties with testing services. “The state is taking all necessary precautions to reduce further spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities statewide,” the department said in a statement.
We will continue to keep an eye on this as more states look to reopen.