Florida recorded more than 6,000 coronavirus deaths Monday, with more than a third of those happening during the latest spike that began about a month ago and shows few signs of abating.
The state health department reported another 76 deaths Monday, bringing the number of people in Florida who have died of coronavirus since March 1 to 6,048. About 2,400 of those have died during July.
The state recorded 8,892 new confirmed cases Monday, bringing the total to almost 424,000. The positivity rate for tests over the last seven days is 19.2% — that is about where it has been for about the last three weeks, but six times higher than it was two months ago just before the number of cases began spiking followed a few weeks later by the number of deaths.
DeSantis said he was “encouraged” Monday by the decline in new cases and hospitalizations.
Dr. Roger Shapiro, an associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard University and a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist, said Monday it is unclear when Florida will get its coronavirus outbreak under control.
“This can continue to spread until we socially distance and until we all wear masks in public. What I’m fearful about right now is that there are many elderly in Florida, so many in nursing homes. As it enters those spaces it will be difficult to contain.”
DeSantis has made protecting nursing homes a priority. He banned nursing home visits in March and employees are regularly tested.
DeSantis hosted Vice President Mike Pence in Miami on Monday afternoon, where Pence announced that South Florida will be part of testing for an experimental coronavirus vaccine. Pence said 1,000 volunteers are being sought in the area, with 500 getting the vaccine being tested and 500 receiving a placebo. Volunteers won’t know if they’re getting the real shot or a dummy version. Thirty regions around the country are being used for the tests.
Florida passes 6,000 coronavirus deaths