Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed coronavirus testing in Orlando Friday, where he criticized businesses, especially restaurants, for demanding negative test results from their employees before allowing them to return to work.
“The problem with demanding a negative test is these PCR tests will pick up just particles, so it could be dead virus,” he said, “and the CDC has seen people test positive for up to 12 weeks. Obviously, you only carry live virus for a very short period of time.”
His comments come after the Florida Department of Health reported another 7,686 new COVID-19 cases statewide, marking nearly a week with under 8,000 daily reported cases.
Closer to home, Miami-Dade reported just 1,700 new COVID cases, while Broward reported 688 and Monroe reported 18.
Henry Bernal left Broward Health Coral Springs after a long battle with COVID-19. As the 50-year-old headed home from the hospital after 17 days, local leaders in South Florida said that based on what they’re seeing in regards to new cases being reported, South Florida is moving in the right direction.
“We’re in positive trends for COVID spread in Broward County,” Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said. “Our positivity rate is down to less than 10 percent over a three-day period. Our hospitals, both Memorial Healthcare and Broward Health, indicated that they’re seeing a substantial drop in the number of patients coming in for COVID-19 care.”
Meanwhile, rapid testing was underway at Marlins Park, one of two South Florida sites offering tests with results in just 15 minutes.
7SkyForce HD flew over the testing site at Hard Rock Stadium, where cars went bumper to bumper to conduct rapid testing, which is available to children 5 to 17 years old, seniors 65 years and older, and anyone else showing symptoms.
The state continues to roll out rapid testing as the governor loosens restrictions for restaurant workers thanks to an order DeSantis signed earlier this week saying that if an employee tested positive for COVID-19, they can get back on the job if they don’t have symptoms instead of testing negative twice.
“With the CDC doing some revised guidance in the last few weeks about employees returning to the workplace, if you’re somebody that tests positive and you go 10 days without symptoms, then you’re clear to come back because you’re going to be infectious at that point,” DeSantis said.
If you’re interested in rapid testing for COVID-19 at Marlins Park, you need an appointment prior to your arrival.