With Florida’s number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus topping 1,000 over the weekend, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hinted at a new strategy to stop the spread of the virus.
At a news conference on Saturday, the governor said the state was considering relocating infected individuals to shelters for isolation. Those shelters would include empty convention centers and hotels
“If someone comes in, tests positive – if you send them back home, they’re likely to infect the people they come into close contact with in their home,” DeSantis said.
As of Saturday, the governor said 34 hospitals across the state were at 50% capacity or more – with 18,000 beds being available.
The bulk of the coronavirus cases in Florida have been in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. There have been 14 deaths, including three at a Fort Lauderdale nursing home.
More mobile testing sites are coming online - with one opening at Hard Rock Stadium Monday morning - and hundreds more are being tested each day.
“The goal would be able to cast as broad a net with this as possible,” the governor said. “It really helps inform how we’re best able to prevent more damage from the virus.”
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried called on DeSantis to issue a statewide, “stay-at-home” order. So far, governors in California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana and Indiana have issued such directives.
Miami-Dade and Broward have already ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses across the counties.