But due to increased testing statewide, the Florida Department of Health reports that infection rates are on the decline, despite 1,419 new cases reported Thursday – the highest daily increase since reporting started.
“Florida has increased its testing capabilities with approximately 30 walk-up and drive-thru testing sites, which to date have tested more than 250,000 individuals,” Helen Ferre, communications director for Gov. Ron DeSantis, told Fox News.
Florida has had over 60,000 coronavirus cases and a three-day trend of increasing cases as DeSantis moved forward with initiating phase two of reopening the economy Friday.
“It is common sense to anticipate that the more we test the more we will find COVID positive individuals,” Ferre said.
On Friday restaurants were allowed to operate at a greater capacity, allowing indoor bar seating. Gyms and retail stores have been permitted to operate at full capacity and personal services like spas have been allowed to reopen, if they follow certain state-mandated guidelines.
But Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are still operating under phase one guidelines as they have seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.
“It is the purpose of testing to determine how many individuals are COVID positive,” Ferre said to Fox News. “The governor has emphasized the importance of testing and is pleased that many have taken the opportunity to be tested at no cost to the individual.”
Florida has offered free antibody testing to anyone over the age of 18 in several different sites throughout the state, with some able to test up to 125 people a day.