A new report from the White House COVID Task Force is asking the state of Florida to shut down despite the fact that confirmed cases and hospitalizations are trending down. The official report recommended that Gov. Ron DeSantis close down bars, restaurants, and gyms without giving any concrete reasons why the state should pull back on its re-opening plans.
Task Force Defense
The task force says that the state should act as if the more transmissible strains of the virus are already circulating throughout the community. Supporters of the plan to keep everything closed say that the state should not continue business as usual since the virus is clearly not business as usual.
However, the medical community has yet to demonstrate that these strains are already out in full force within the state. On the contrary, recent data shows that cases are decreasing.
Florida’s Efforts to Contain the Virus
The advice by the task force to pull back on re-opening does not make sense when looking at Florida’s current success in mitigating the spread of the virus. Between Jan. 9 and 15, an average of just over 1,100 patents was confirmed with COVID-19 each day. The daily average of new hospitalizations in the state was 305. This number represents a decrease of 5% in new hospitalizations as a result of the virus.
In addition, the state as a whole only had 460 new cases per 100,000 people. This number is actually lower than the national average figure of 478 cases per 100,000. This data puts Florida at 22nd in the number of new cases per 100,000 people.