Gov. Ron DeSantis was at an Orlando hospital Tuesday afternoon where he said over that last few months patients with coronavirus are experiencing improved outcomes and recoveries, calling it a “positive development.”
The announcement comes on the same day that Florida set a record for newly reported deaths coronavirus deaths — 186.
“We have seen throughout the state of Florida, a decline in visits for COVID-like illness to emergency departments,” the governor said. “We seen a stabilization or decline in the COVID hospital census at hospitals throughout the state.”
DeSantis said Tuesday’s coronavirus death total is “reflective of infections and hospitalizations that have happened in the past” and more of a “lagging indicator.”
Dr. Eduardo Oliveira said he is encouraged that he and his team have been able to adapt and improve treatments.
“We are glad to see (Florida’s) mortality level is below the national average … Of the patients that get hospitalized, 95 percent of them will survive,” Oliveira said. “I’m proud of the outcomes.”
DeSantis said there is an “abundance of (hospital) beds available” in Orange County, including 25 percent availability.
The governor said the state now has 22 COVID-only nursing homes in Florida, encompassing about 1,500 beds.
“These COVID-only nursing facilities are places a hospital can safely discharge a COVID positive resident of a long-term care facility,” DeSantis said.
Every staff member of a long-term care facility is now being tested for the coronavirus twice a week, according to the governor.
DeSantis said the state was able to secure 500 more cases of remdesivir for Florida hospitals, bringing the total to 3,000 cases and 100,000 viles.
Early research has shown the drug helps shorten the recovery time of some COVID-19 patients.
He also encouraged coronavirus patients who have recovered from the virus to donate convalescent plasma, which can help patients battling COVID-19.
Doctors who spoke at the hospital said they continue to learn how to best treat coronavirus patients. However, they continue to be concerned about non-COVID-19 patients delaying care for ailments like heart attacks or strokes.
“That is very worrisome … unfortunately, we’re seeing some patients with worsening outcomes as a result of that fear and that delay in care,” Dr. Omayra Mansfield said.
The moratorium on housing evictions in Florida has been extended twice and is set to expire on Friday.
When asked if he would extend the moratorium again, DeSantis said “we might.”
“We’ll have an announcement on that soon,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis joined Vice President Mike Pence on Monday in Miami where the first phase three clinical trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine are set to begin.
The latest data from the Florida Department of Health says there have been 441,977 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Florida and 6,201 deaths.