Florida initiated the second phase for reopening the economy Friday, one day after the largest spike in coronavirus cases were reported since the beginning of March.
But due to increased testing statewide, the Florida Department of Health reports that infection rates are on the decline, despite 1,419 new cases reported Thursday – the highest daily increase since reporting started.
FLORIDA SEES SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS CASES WHILE APPROACHING NEW REOPENING PHASE
“Florida has increased its testing capabilities with approximately 30 walk-up and drive-thru testing sites, which to date have tested more than 250,000 individuals,” Helen Ferre, communications director for Gov. Ron DeSantis, told Fox News.
Florida has had over 60,000 coronavirus cases and a three-day trend of increasing cases as DeSantis moved forward with initiating phase two of reopening the economy Friday.
Beginning today, 64 Florida counties (all except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach) enter Phase 2 of our #SafeSmartStepbyStep Plan for Florida’s Recovery.
I will continue working with local leadership in South Florida to safely help their communities enter into Phase 2.
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“It is common sense to anticipate that the more we test the more we will find COVID positive individuals,” Ferre said.
FLORIDA GOV. DESANTIS ANNOUNCES BARS, GYMS CAN REOPEN AS MOST OF STATE ENTERS PHASE 2 CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY
On Friday restaurants were allowed to operate at a greater capacity, allowing indoor bar seating. Gyms and retail stores have been permitted to operate at full capacity and personal services like spas have been allowed to reopen, if they follow certain state-mandated guidelines.
But Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are still operating under phase one guidelines as they have seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.
“It is the purpose of testing to determine how many individuals are COVID positive,” Ferre said to Fox News. “The governor has emphasized the importance of testing and is pleased that many have taken the opportunity to be tested at no cost to the individual.”