TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - As Florida continues to see a surge of cases caused by the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke publicly Thursday about possibly reverting back to daily reporting of COVID-19 data to provide county-level information to residents.
The Florida Department of Health stopped reporting daily numbers back in June, at the direction DeSantis, meaning counties have been unable to provide local data to residents. The agency now issues updates once a week, on Fridays. The FHA and CDC continue to publish data on a daily basis, however.
During a Thursday press conference, the governor suggested it might be a good idea to start daily reports again.
"In terms of breaking it down by county, you know, that might not be a bad idea going forward. I know we used to look at that a lot," he said.
Screenshot from Pinellas County website: covid19.pinellascounty.org.
Now, it only reports them on a weekly basis, but the CDC has been reporting data for Florida more often during the week.
The governor’s comments comes after the state health department took to Twitter to call out the CDC, saying they provided false information on the daily number of cases over the weekend, and accused them of combining multiple days’ worth of reported cases into one. It has since been changed on the federal agency’s website.
With the infections and hospitalizations surging, Floridians have taken to social media asking the state to provide more information on a local level.
"We would not have had the back and forth and the confusion from the Department of Health if they would just have been giving the daily numbers," said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate running against DeSantis.
Following the governor’s comments on Thursday, there has been no word yet on whether the daily reporting will resume or when.