Third Mobile Testing Site Set Up In South Florida; No 'Shelter In Place' Order Yet
There will be no "shelter-in-place" order for Floridians to stay at home, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday afternoon, although state like New York, California and Illinois are telling its residents to leave home only for emergencies.
Still, DeSantis said people should stay at home and travel as little as possible.
"Avoid any types of crowds of people. Keep your distance if you're in public," he said. "If you stay in those comfort zones, and don't go and have close contact with someone that's infected, they you're going to be protecting yourself."
DeSantis spoke from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, where the National Guard has set up the state's second mobile testing site for COVID-19. The first, in Pembroke Pines in neighboring Broward County, took samples from 745 people on its first day, and another 702 the second day, the governor said.
He said a lot more people are being tested now in Florida, as tests can be done at private labs instead of having to be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
"As testing has increased in places like Broward and Dade," he said, "we have seen more overall cases, but the percentage of people who test positive have declined. And you have even under criteria where you have to be symptomatic, the vast, vast majority of people are testing negative for this."
DeSantis also announced Sunday that two field hospitals are being set up in Broward and Miami-Dade to treat up to 200 people.
As of Sunday morning, DeSantis said 768 Floridians have tested postive for COVID-19 - with 62 of them being non-Florida residents. So far, he said there have been 7,900 negative test results with another 962 results pending in state labs.
And the governor said "millions" of masks will be delivered to the state "very soon."
DeSantis has called for a ban on elective surgery, in part so hospital staff have enough personal protective equipment available for coronavirus patients.
In Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor will be asking Hillsborough County leaders to issue a county-wide ‘stay-at-home’ order as soon as Monday.
Castor said Saturday that she will take the request to ‘shelter in place’ to the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group – a consortium of the cities and the county making decisions related to coronavirus.
Health officials say that coronvirus causes only minor flu-like symptoms in most people, and they often recover in a matter of weeks. However, it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness or death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health problems.