Gov. DeSantis nixes daily COVID-19 reports

File photo of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
File photo of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Phil Sears) (Copyright 2021 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health plans to cease the daily COVID-19 reports that have been used by the media and the public to track changes in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw told The News Service of Florida on Friday that there is no need to keep issuing the daily reports.

“COVID-19 cases have significantly decreased over the past year as we have a less than 5% positivity rate, and our state is returning to normal, with vaccines widely available throughout Florida,” Pushaw said in an email.

The state had already stopped producing its daily updates on COVID-19 infection rates among staff and residents at long-term care facilities. The daily reports, which listed the names of facilities with infections, have been replaced by less-detailed weekly reports.

While Florida is ceasing its daily updates, a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic remains in effect and is scheduled to expire on June 26. DeSantis has indicated that he does not plan to extend it any further.

If the governor doesn’t think there is a continued public health emergency, will his administration continue to take advantage of enhanced federal funding? There has been a 6.2 percentage point hike in the amount of federal Medicaid funds coming into the state to help offset the increased costs of Medicaid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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