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Coronavirus Testing Increases

March 13th, 2020 by Jake Stofan

State lawmakers are adding at least an addition $100 million to the state reserve to be used to fight the Coronavirus, bringing total up to $300 million.

The Governor’s briefing Friday was held in a Department of Health warehouse where supplies and testing kits were on display.

The warehouse just outside the shadow of the state Capitol contains hundreds pallets of supplies ranging from cots, tables, meals ready to eat, water, ventilators and much more.

The Governor said the state now has enough kits to test a quarter million people.

“All the cases in Florida, the overwhelming are all linked to international travel. Some of the other investigations are ongoing, but you don’t have to have traveled. If you have the symptoms and a doctor recommends it, then you can receive a test,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Fifteen hundred more kits, each of which tests 250 people, are expected soon.

“We knew we were going to have more cases this week. There is going to be more cases next week. I mean, that’s what happening,” said DeSantis.

Right now, Florida is able to process about 1,000 tests a day.

It is enlisting at least 50 private labs, which will take testing capacity to 6,000 a day.

Also Friday, the Florida Senate confirmed Scott Rivkees as the state’s Surgeon General.

That confirmation was once in doubt.

The Senate held up the confirmation to see how the Governor’s appointee was performing.

Some Democrats still objected, but one member put it bluntly.

“This is not the time to change teams,” said Senator Jason Pizzo.

Rivkees said the state is attacking the virus aggressively.

“This is a massive response that is involving thousands of individuals. The most common symptom is a fever followed by a dry cough, followed by fatigue,” said Rivkees.

And the Governor also said that National Guard members who are also medical professionals are expected to be activated in the coming days to assist with testing.

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