What to Know
- Florida COVID-19 cases surpass 38,000 with 1,539 virus-related deaths
- More than 650 deaths have been reported in Miami-Dade and Broward
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced details of a mobile COVID-19 testing facility
Florida surpassed 38,000 coronavirus cases Wednesday, as the state's virus-related death toll rose to 1,539.
With 563 new COVID-19 cases, the state's total rose to 38,002, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health. The state also reported 68 more deaths related to the virus Wednesday.
Miami-Dade County continued to be the state's epicenter for COVID-19, with 13,371 cases and 432 virus-related deaths.
Broward County had 5,553 cases and 219 deaths, while Palm Beach had 3,480 cases and 215 deaths. Monroe County had no new cases or deaths reported Wednesday, and stood at 80 cases and 3 deaths.
Among Florida's cities, Miami had the most cases with 8,386, followed by Hialeah with 1,639. Hollywood had 1,321 cases, while Fort Lauderdale had 1,306.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was giving an update on the state's coronavirus response at the COVID-19 testing site at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens Wednesday morning.
DeSantis announced details of a mobile COVID-19 testing facility that will do rapid testing at long-term care facilities. It will be a recreational vehicle equipped with a lab that can give test results in 45 minutes, DeSantis said.
DeSantis said the mobile facility will start in Miami-Dade and work around-the-clock, performing about 500 tests per day.
"We really believe this will be a game-changer," DeSantis said.
DeSantis said the state was getting ready to begin serological testing at Hard Rock Stadium and other testing sites, to see if people have antibodies that indicate they were infected, recovered and didn't know they had the disease. Florida has 200,000 test kits that will be sent to hospitals and be available at driveup testing sites, DeSantis said.
As of Wednesday, more than 482,000 people have been tested for coronavirus in Florida.
Florida partially reopened Monday, allowing restaurants and shops in most of the state to open at 25% capacity in hopes of kick-starting the ailing economy after weeks of coronavirus -related shutdowns.
The state''s Phase One reopening excluded Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, where the outbreak has been worse and officials want more time to ensure the virus is under control.
DeSantis said Wednesday that he's seen "positive movement" in South Florida and is hoping the three counties can be included in Phase One soon.
"There's been good trends, there's been a lot of good work done in all three of these counties. We want to be safe about it, we want to be smart," DeSantis said. "For Florida to be successful, we need our southern Florida communities to be successful."
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who also attended Wednesday's news conference, said they're working on plans to open up the county's economy.
"We need to start opening up this area of the state as the governor has started to open up other areas of the state of Florida," Gimenez said. "We need to get back to a new normal, the new normal won't be the old normal, it will be a new normal but we're heading in that direction."