Could there be a change in the way the state of Florida and the Department of Health calculates its tally of positive COVID-19 cases next week?
Gov. Ron DeSantis said at his daily press conference Friday that his administration discovered that when those who tested positive re-tested to see if their 14-day quarantine would be over, any second (or third) positives were often being counted as new positive cases. He said he would ask the DOH to count those cases separately, or in a different category.
Speaking Saturday at Cleveland Clinic Florida in hard-hit South Florida, DeSantis said the rate of state residents testing positive has dropped to 7.5 percent overall in the past week.
And, DeSantis came up with a way to increase testing, once details get sorted out. For two days in a row now, the governor raised the idea of allowing licensed pharmacists to administer COVID-19 tests, and making it possible for drug stores to order and administer tests. He said the idea is that if people think they’ve been exposed to someone with the disease they can easily go to a neighborhood pharmacy.
The governor also noted that more hospital beds and ICU units are available statewide — about 41 percent — than before the pandemic begin, a sign that restrictions on elective surgery could soon be eased.
DeSantis will speak from Orlando Health in Orange County today at 1 p.m.