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UPDATED: Gov. DeSantis Gives Coronavirus Update at Orlando Hair Salon

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday discussed Florida’s efforts to battle the coronavirus at a hair salon in Orlando.

“As of last night, Florida had 581 COVID patients in the ICU statewide,” he said. “That’s the lowest we’ve had in a month, and for a state of almost 22 million people, that’s obviously a very, very small number of patients.”

DeSantis also talked about the increase of testing availability in the state.

“We’ve tested almost 420,000 people now in the state of Florida,” he said. “We have the seven drive-thru sites that have been operating for a while, including the one in the Orange County Convention Center, but we’re adding Pensacola, which had a soft open yesterday, large open today.”

He continued, We’re adding Sarasota/Bradenton drive-thru site, Naples/Fort Myers drive-thru site, and then a hybrid drive-thru and walk-up site at the Miami Beach Convention Center. So you’re actually going to have more opportunities if you want to test, because we just feel — if you’re putting people back to work and maybe a worker has some symptoms, they’re hopefully in these communities — an easy way to do it.”

DeSantis spoke with hair stylists at the OhSoooJazzy Hair Salon in Orlando, telling them that haircuts and manicures could soon return if barber shops and salons use safety measures.

Among the ideas to make that happen are barbers and clients wearing gloves and masks, closing waiting areas, and having clients stay in their cars until they receive a text message to come in.

“I am confident that it’s not just a matter of ‘if,’ (it’s) just a matter of ‘when,’ but we’ve got to make sure it is safe and sound,” said DeSantis.

He did not indicate whether salons would be allowed to reopen everywhere in Florida or if they would be limited to areas outside the virus’ epicenter of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, which makes up about 60 percent of the state’s cases and deaths.

DeSantis announced last week that the state will reopen Monday, May 4, with the exception of heavily-hit Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

According to the Department of Health, there were 36,078 total cases of COVID-19 in Florida as of Sunday.

At least 1,379 Florida residents have died from COVID-19.

Palm Beach County: 3,130 cases

-196 deaths

-Men: 1,545, Women: 1,523

-477 hospitalizations

Broward County: 5,312 cases

-207 deaths

-Men: 2,628, Women: 2,549

-1,056 hospitalizations

Miami-Dade County: 12,775 cases

-369 deaths

-Men: 6,581, Women: 6,039

-1,664 hospitalizations