Coronavirus in Florida: Industries in trouble, trapped travelers
The number of coronavirus cases in Florida continued to rise Monday, with 220 new cases in 24 hours, with a statewide total of 1,227 cases and 17 deaths. Fifteen of those new cases were in Hillsborough County, which now has 73 cases overall, the fourth most among Florida counties.
As of Tuesday morning, the United States had 46,450 cases and 593 deaths.
DeSantis stops the blockade, despite experts' pleas, as cases increase, Governor Ron DeSantis said Monday he opposed a state order to stay home or take refuge on the spot, despite the Statements by public health experts that such action is necessary to prevent a major disaster that overwhelms hospitals.
"It is time to step in to delay transmission (in Florida)," said Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Although DeSantis has said he wants to trust "good data" and suggested that a low number of confirmed cases in many Florida counties means there isn't a big problem here yet, limited Florida evidence means the data he's looking for may be inadequate and outdated.
Meanwhile, a model used by public health experts shows that the "point of no return" for Florida to avoid hospital overload is March 30, now less than a week away.
At least a dozen states have issued stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders or closed all nonessential businesses. Florida's slowness in doing so is part of a trend: The state has lagged behind dozens of others in coronavirus-related restrictions.
Local governments contemplate blockades
While DeSantis avoids an order to stay home, some local governments are considering implementing one. A proposed shelter-in-place proposal led by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor was voted on at a meeting of Hillsborough County officials on Monday, but the group chose to suspend that order. Castor has said he is also considering a city-wide order.
Pinellas county officials could discuss a shelter-in-place order as early as Thursday, county commissioners said Monday.
"If we can flatten the curve now, we can get people back to normal faster rather than expect a crisis," said Commissioner Karen Seel, who unsuccessfully lobbied for a voluntary refuge in the resolution last week. I want it to be out of control where people die and get sick and pass it on. We need a methodical way to deal with this in order to save people. "