Gov. DeSantis and doctors at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach gave an update on coronavirus procedures Sunday afternoon.
The governor said 200,000 antibody tests arrived in the state overnight, and more are on order.
He also announced that an RV with a mobile lab inside will be traveling to different long-term facilities beginning this week to test residents for COVID-19. Officials will be using a test that provides results in 45 minutes.
DeSantis said private sector testing will begin soon at designated CVS, Walgreens and Walmart locations.
“The state-supported testing, hospital testing is great, but there’s more private sector actors that are getting involved in this. I recently signed an executive order to allow licensed pharmacists to conduct COVID tests. So Walgreens has announced that they’re going to do 9 drive-through sites in Florida,” he told reporters.
In terms of elective surgeries, which are set to take place again as phase one of the reopening begins Monday in most of the state, a doctor at the press conference said patients will be screened at checkpoints several days before surgery.
I’m meeting with doctors and health care professionals at @HalifaxHealth in Daytona to discuss elective surgeries resuming in hospitals and the state’s latest efforts to combat #COVID19. Watch here – https://t.co/mqXo7uNrk6
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 3, 2020
Additionally, visitation will be limited for a reduced volume of surgeries, which include aneurysm surgeries, limb salvage, symptomatic gallbladder, hernia surgeries, and cancer-related surgeries.
On Monday, Florida will enter phase one of the “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery,” although Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are excluded due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in this part of the state.
Described as a “small, deliberate, methodical,” step by DeSantis, restaurants and retail stores in all other parts of Florida will reopen with limited capacity.
Phase one of reopening will include:
-Schools will remain in distance learning.
-Visits to senior living facilities will still be prohibited by Gov. DeSantis said that he may eventually revisit this.
-Elective surgeries can resume.
-Restaurants can offer outdoor seating with six-foot space between tables and indoor seating will be allowed at 25 percent capacity.
-Retail stores can also operate at 25 percent of indoor capacity.
-No change for bars, gyms, and personal services like hairdressers. Gov. DeSantis did acknowledge that he will revisit guidelines for gyms after observing how it goes for other states.
-Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside of the home.
-All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others.
-Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
-Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you cannot social distance.