Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday insisted that he has no plans to reinstate coronavirus-related restrictions or close businesses despite a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in his state.
On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health reported more than 6,000 new coronavirus cases, pushing the state’s case total to more than 152,000. 58 new coronavirus-related deaths were also reported on Tuesday, which brings the state up to 3,505 deaths from COVID-19. In the past week, the number of coronavirus cases reported in a single day rose as high as 9,557.
Last week, DeSantis ordered the closure of bars, pubs and nightclubs that he previously allowed to reopen due to widespread violations of social distancing requirements.
When asked during a news conference about whether he was reconsidering anything else related to his reopening strategy, DeSantis denied the notion.
“We’re not going back, closing things,” DeSantis said, referring to Florida’s reopening. “I don’t think that that really is what’s driving it.”
DeSantis then added that a surge of coronavirus cases among young people in his state can be attributed to social interactions.
“When you see the younger folks, I think a lot if it is more just social interactions,” DeSantis said. “So, that’s natural, obviously. You had a lot of different activities going on in different parts of the state, Memorial Day. Two weeks after Memorial Day, you know, we saw a lot of things going on. So, that’s just the reality.”
DeSantis went on to emphasize that the state’s priority is to protect the elderly and vulnerable.
“We’re open. We know who we need to protect,” DeSantis said. “Most of the folks in those younger demographics — although we want them to be mindful of what’s going on — are just simply much, much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups. So, protecting the vulnerable, you know, really is significant.”