Florida sets new daily mark for COVID-19 deaths while DeSantis finds 'positive trends'
TALLAHASSEE — Florida set a new, single-day record Tuesday with 186 deaths from COVID-19 as the state affirmed its place as the nation’s latest epicenter of the pandemic.
Florida now tops the earliest hot spot — New York — for cases. It ranks second for cases to California, which has 18 million more people than the Sunshine State.
2020年欧冠赛程表Florida health officials Tuesday reported 9,240 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 441,977. The death toll climbed to 6,117 since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
On 10 days this month, the state has logged more than 100 deaths from the virus.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been sued by the state’s largest teachers union over his administration’s order to reopen schools next month for in-person classes, went to an Orlando hospital Tuesday to highlight what he called “positive trends” in hospital admissions in Central Florida.
2020年欧冠赛程表Statewide, 8,937 people were hospitalized because of COVID-19, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
But at AdventHealth Orlando, DeSantis was told the hospital’s COVID-19 patient count had peaked at 515 on July 19, while Tuesday the hospital had 406 patients with the illness. The AdventHealth system across the state also was reporting a decline in admissions from the virus since early July.
2020年欧冠赛程表Dr. Vincent Hsu, an internal medicine specialist, said the hospital had “a steady, but very consistent decline in our census.”
The state’s grim statewide death toll was not brought up by DeSantis during his briefing at the hospital. But when asked by a reporter about how he could square his upbeat assessment with the mounting death toll, the Republican governor gave a nuanced response.
“These are tough things to see, when you see fatalities come in,” DeSantis said. “Obviously, we’re working hard to protect the long-term care facilities; we still have fatalities related to long-term care.
2020年欧冠赛程表“And obviously, to have families lose someone, that’s a big deal. And every one…matters,” he said.
DeSantis, though, said the deaths are “reflective of infections and hospitalizations that happened in the past. It’s more of a lagging indicator.”
DeSantis also concluded there are signs — at least at AdventHealth — that suggest fewer people are being hospitalized with the virus. “As you have fewer COVID-positive patients in the hospital, you’ll see mortality decrease as well. And obviously, we want to get there.”
2020年欧冠赛程表The state’s positivity rate for the 90,220 coronavirus tests reported Tuesday was 11.7%, the fourth straight day it was below 12% and a decline from earlier this month when the statewide average was soaring to 18% on some days.
With 8,974 people hospitalized for COVID-19, Florida hospitals had 22% of their beds available, and 16% of their intensive care unit space.
With DeSantis and his political mentor, President Donald Trump, both pushing to reopen schools for in-person instruction, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union Tuesday said it would support its 1.7 million members if they choose to strike in districts and states reopening classrooms without sufficient health and safety mandates.
2020年欧冠赛程表The American Federation of Teachers, though, called strikes a “last resort.”
2020年欧冠赛程表Florida’s constitution prohibits public employees from going on strike. But the Florida Education Association has sued DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran claiming they would violate the constitution by sending students back to schools that are not safe.
2020年欧冠赛程表DeSantis on Tuesday attempted to distance himself from his administration’s order, but said he supports giving parents the option of having their children attend in-person classes.
“That’s something that’s with the commissioner of education; he’s really been the lead on this,” DeSantis said. “What’s clear to me is that parents want to be able to control their kids’ destiny and to have a meaningful choice.
“So for me, if parents believe that the distance-learning is the way to go, they’re not comfortable in a face-to-face environment for their kid, then I think they have that right,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis said that by the middle of August, virus trends could be moving in a better direction.
“I recognize that every district in the state, all 67, you’re not going to have the same model apply in all 67,” DeSantis said.