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The latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Florida. This page ended its updates as of August 2020. Head here for additional stories on COVID-19 and the pandemic.

DeSantis Tells Younger Floridians: 'Think Of Those More Vulnerable' To COVID-19

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at Ascension Hospital in Pensacola on Sunday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking younger Floridians to act more responsibly to avoid COVID-19 infection and transmission — because they now represent the majority of the state’s new cases.

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At a press briefing Sunday at Ascension Hospital in Pensacola, DeSantis said the positivity rate for new coronavirus testing in Florida has jumped considerably this month. And that’s being driven largely by the younger demographic: he said last week half of all Floridians testing positive for COVID-19 were in their early 30s or younger.

“You’re seeing it in those groups who are less at risk," DeSantis said, "but you’re seeing them test positive at much higher rates. I think 25-to-34 [year-old group] has been pretty close to 20 percent.”

DeSantis attributed much of that to a “throw-caution-to-the-wind” attitude among younger Floridians regarding indoor socializing in homes and at bars.

“You have graduation parties, you’re going out, you’re doing different things," said the Governor. "That’s going to be conducive to transmitting the virus…I mean, they need to be thinking about who they’re coming into contact with who may be in the more vulnerable groups…the folks who are more elderly.”

DeSantis also announced that a new COVID-dedicated nursing facility will open on Wednesday in Miami-Dade County at the former Pan American Hospital Building at Northwest 7th Street and 59th Avenue. The announcement comes after more than 2,100 new cases were confirmed in Miami-Dade — a new record for the county.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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