Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis emphasized the importance of taking care of the most vulnerable groups in our nation amid the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday during a news conference.
He again defined those who were the most vulnerable as individuals who are 65 years of age or older and those with medical issues. To those two groups, DeSantis urged them to stay at home for their own safety.
Across the state of Florida, DeSantis said those two groups are still experiencing the most deaths when it comes to the coronavirus. He asked them to be extremely careful with who they come into contact with at this time.
"We have a special obligation to protect the groups of people who are elderly or those with a serious medical condition," DeSantis said.
He said the county of Miami-Dade leads the state with approximately 400 infections right now, but zero deaths.
He also emphasized the importance of employees working from home. He said they want the workforce to get down to 50 percent of people working from home.
DeSantis addressed the issue of people leaving the Tri-State area and said they must self-isolate for 14 days if they have traveled to Florida recently, something he said the federal government and the White House reiterated, especially since New York has been an epicenter for the virus in the United States.
For any flights coming into Florida from New York, DeSantis has the National Guard checking in and processing the passengers coming off the plane. He said the information gathered on the passengers coming from New York is then shared with regions around the state.
DeSantis said they are constantly monitoring the need for any bed space across the state. Right now he said they have a 35 percent capacity in hospitals across the country and a 33 percent capacity for adult ICU.
As for testing, DeSantis said they have the ability to run "a lot of tests", but they are talking to the federal government about the need for more collection swabs in order to maximize their testing sites.
He said 90 percent of tests come back negative in the state, but they want to keep expanding sites to keep those tests going so people know what they have if they come down with symptoms.
DeSantis thanked the National Guard for their involvement running test centers across the state that have helped to make them successful.
Answering questions regarding President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus, DeSantis said he believed what the president has been able to do is "overcome the bureaucracy" during this time.
"We cannot be paralyzed by bureaucratic rules, so we really appreciate his support and the Coronavirus Task Force," DeSantis said. "They are working really hard and not getting much sleep trying to take care of this big country that we have."
DeSantis also clarified what he believed the president said earlier today about removing some restrictions by Easter weekend. He said he believes the president did not want "massive lockouts" and believed social distancing will still be needed for a long time since there is still no solution to the virus.
"We may still have some social distancing by Easter," DeSantis said. "This will be a part of our daily lives until we have a solution to this. What the president said is that there are ways to do this without thrusting people into economic misery and even more health concerns."
DeSantis also said he had great confidence in reimbursements from the government.
"I don’t think this will impact the budget because we will get reimbursed from the federal government at the state and local level," he said.