In an announcement on Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that although COVID-19 cases in Florida have been on the rise, the state would remain open and not reimplement shutdowns.
While the ban on consumption of alcohol on-site at bars has been put into effect again this week, DeSantis expressed in the press conference that he felt shutting down the state again would stunt the economy without saving lives.
“We're not going back, closing things. …People going to a business is not what's driving it. I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of 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. ... So that's just the reality."
DeSantis added that predictions of Florida’s condition were exaggerated but continued to encourage social distancing to protect those who are vulnerable, even though the public has been critical of his lack of statewide mask mandate, which sparked a conversation with the #DeSantisFailedFlorida hashtag trending on Twitter.
As of last week, Florida's total number of cases surpassed the entirety of Canada.
Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard currently show 152,434 total cases.