Gov. DeSantis on COVID-19 reopening: ‘We’re not going back’

Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed a news conference on May 3 at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Source: Screengrab

Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated Tuesday that he’s not turning back his plans to reopen the state’s economy as the daily number of positive test results from COVID-19 edged up again above 6,000.

“We’re not going back, closing things,” the governor said.

The Florida Department of Health reported 6,093 infections coming in overnight, pushing the total to 152,434 and the total COVID-19 deaths to 3,505.

The number of cases reported in a single day has ranged as high as 9,557 during the past week.

DeSantis has allowed his Department of Business and Professional Regulation secretary to close the bars, pubs, and nightclubs the governor previously had allowed to reopen following his initial stay-home order amid widespread flouting of social distancing requirements.

But, asked during a news conference in Juno Beach whether he was reconsidering any other elements of his reopening strategy, DeSantis said he was not.

“I don’t think that that really is what’s driving it,” he continued, referring to the reopening.

“When you see the younger folks, I think a lot if it is more just social interactions. 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,” he said.

“We’re open. We know who we need to protect. 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.”