SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The State of Florida saw its highest spike of new COVID-19 cases in one single day - with new cases yesterday and a total of 61, statewide. Do these numbers contradict the Governor’s plan of re-opening the state?
Well, doctors say a lot has changed since this pandemic first started here back in March - especially when it comes to testing. We now have testing sites where anyone can come get tested, even without symptoms.
On Wednesday, when Governor DeSantis announced that we would be entering into Phase 2 of Re-Opening today, he mentioned that testing has increased immensely throughout the state, so he did expect confirmed cases to go up. However, it’s the percentage of positive test results that need to be observed, as well as ensuring that the number of hospitalizations remain low.
As of now, hospitals across the Suncoast are not seeing an uptick in new patients.
“We used to admit up to seven patients a day, now we are seeing probably one patient every other day on average, so the numbers have gone down significantly for sure," said Dr. Manuel Gordillo, Epidemiologist for Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
However, doctors say based on testing, the virus is still out there so people should not let their guard down. Especially the high risk population - the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. They are the 20% of infected people who can end up in the hospital.
“It’s unlikely you can escape this thing if you have any type of interaction with society eventually, unless if we really hold fast. Part of why we did so well in southwest Florida is because people did take this seriously. We did follow CDC guidelines. We did physically distance. We did self-quarantine. We didn’t give it a chance to spread somewhere else. It can’t go anywhere if you don’t give it a door to open into and jump on somebody else," Dr. Lisa Merritt, Multicultural Health Institute, explained.
Doctors say the new normal for the foreseeable future is to wear masks, carry hand-sanitizer with you at all times and wahsing our hands frequently – especially before we eat and before and after having physical contact with someone.