MIAMI, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said about 25,000 fully vaccinated people statewide have tested positive for COVID-19.
DeSantis also said there has been a reduction of more than 70% in the mortality rate compared to previous peaks.
The governor promised the state wouldn’t shut down despite being considered the “epicenter” of new COVID-19 cases.
DeSantis said the drop in deaths statewide is a sign that the state did the right thing in its “Seniors First” vaccine rollout.
“You can test positive,” DeSantis said. “We’re seeing that. But at the end of the day, (we’re) really turning this into something that was much more threatening to something that’s more manageable. That’s a huge, huge thing.”
DeSantis went on to say that 25,000 of the state’s recent positive tests were “breakthrough” cases from fully vaccinated people. Channel 9 cannot verify that number because the state doesn’t track that information.
“It may not mean you’ll never test positive, but I think the severity has been lessened, and I think these hospitals would say the same,” DeSantis said.
His comments come as Central Florida’s largest hospital system, AdventHealth, is in “black status,” restricting visitation for most patients. Other hospital systems are putting off elective procedures to keep hospital beds available.
With schools set to reopen without mask mandates in place in just one week, DeSantis said Florida isn’t changing course.
“We’re not shutting down,” he said. “We’re going to have schools open. We’re protecting everybody’s job in this state. These interventions have failed time and time again. With delta, if it didn’t stop it before, it ain’t gonna stop it now, so I think it’s very important we understand that.”
The governor said he would rather have 5,000 cases among 20 year olds than 500 in more vulnerable seniors. He said he believes hospitalizations will level off in the coming weeks.
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