TAMPA, Fla. - As COVID-19 rates spike across the country, many states are imposing new shutdowns, restrictions and mask mandates to combat the spread of the virus.
North Dakota became the 35th state to issue a mask mandate. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued restrictions that limit social gatherings to 10 people, whether inside or outdoors. New York has ordered bars, restaurants and gyms to close by 10 p.m.
Though Florida is among the 47 states experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 infections, it's unlikely that Governor Ron DeSantis will respond with the types of restrictions implemented last spring.
In September, DeSantis pledged to "never do any of these lockdowns again."
On Sunday, after state officials reported more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases, the most in a single-day since the pandemic's peak in July, DeSantis' communications director echoed the Governor's earlier promise to avoid shut downs.
“Almost 150,000 Covid tests yesterday. 7.5% positivity rate. Still under 10%," said Fred Piccolo Jr. "Washing hands. Social distancing. Protect the elderly. Don’t lockdown. Keep calm and carry on. ICU capacity is at 30% available statewide. Hospitals are NOT overrun. Most can ramp up as. Needed too [sic]," tweeted Fred Piccolo.
While testing has increased, case rates are also on the rise in Florida.
In the first week of October, the state’s positivity rate averaged 4.6% according to state data, but one month later the rate nearly doubled to 8.4% for new positive cases.
The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Florida hospitals is also on the rise, up from a daily average of 2,000 in October to more than 3,000 hospitalized because of COVID on Sunday.
The state also added another 30 deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the official state total to 17,517.