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Doctor Warns To Not Open State As COVID-19 Peak Date Remains Uncertain

Florida's COVID-19 Data Chart showing number of positive cases a day.
Florida Department of Health
Florida Department of Health

Governor Ron DeSantis is putting together a task force that will help create a plan to open business in Florida. The group meets this afternoon for the first time. In response, Florida Democrats and a medical professional held a press conference this morning to urge the governor to not reopen the state.

There were 1,332 new coronavirus cases in Florida this weekend. That’s a dip compared to last weekend when there were nearly 2,000. Dr. Brent Schillinger, past President of Palm Beach County Medical Society says the change, however, doesn’t mean we’re safe. He says projections of when Florida will reach its peak are all over the place.

"In March we were told that Florida would reach its surge, a peak in new COVID cases by the middle of May. Then a week later it was forecast that April 23 would be the peak," Schillinger said. "Then the next week, which was last Monday, we heard that the surge would be May 6. And then a report that just came out three days ago on Friday said, Oh we’ve already passed our peak it was April 2."

Schillinger says until a large scale expansion of testing is done, social distancing should be practiced. Less than two percent of Floridians have been tested. Schillinger worries those who are asymptomatic and don’t have a test could continue spreading the virus. Florida Congresswoman Donna Shalala believes a national plan should be formed instead of all 50 states deciding when to reopen.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.