WorldFlorida Governor Calls For More COVID-19 Antibody Treatments

Florida Governor Calls For More COVID-19 Antibody Treatments

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The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, asked the Administration of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, on Monday, to send more treatments with monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19, at a time when this state faces a rebound in infections triggered by the omicron variant.

LOOK: Florida reaches the end of the year with a record 58,000 coronavirus infections

In a press conference offered from southern Broward County, the Republican said that, according to an announcement made Sunday by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, in English), the state expects to receive between 30,000 and 40,000 treatments.

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DeSantis pointed out that as soon as his office has these drugs available, they plan to open new sites in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and central Florida counties, so they anticipate that these effective treatments will be quickly exhausted to reduce hospitalizations because of COVID-19.

“We have the capacity to add 5 to 10 more sites depending on demand, but it all depends on the federal government sending the doses we need,” he said.

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The governor’s request comes after Florida reached a new record for infections on Friday, 75,962 new cases, although hospitalizations and deaths have not reached the peaks recorded when the delta variant was the predominant variant in the United States during the summer.

OMICRON, MORE CONTAGIOUS BUT LESS INCOME

As reported on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in English) of the United States, in Florida 45,838 new cases were reported on Saturday and 39,797 new infected on Sunday.

The accumulated total of cases in this state therefore amounts to 4,308,534 million infections since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the accounting administered by this federal institution.

For its part, the total hospitalizations this Monday for COVID-19 (5,700 patients) represents 10.08% of the number of beds available in Florida, with 75.9% already occupied, a jump compared to recent months, according to figures reported by 259 medical centers in the state to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

And in the state’s Intensive Care Units, 614 people are admitted for coronavirus, that is, 10% of the total beds.

However, Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo said today that everything points to the omicron variant being quite contagious but it does not seem to produce high numbers of hospital admissions or deaths, and, in that sense, the latest figures represent considerable decreases compared to the peak reached last August.

At the press conference, Ladapo also said that they are working to “relax” the “mentality” of getting regularly tested for COVID-19, something to which the federal government, he added, “unfortunately” has given priority throughout the country. in the last two years.

BACK TO CLASSES

In Florida and the US, thousands of schoolchildren and students have returned to classrooms this Monday after the break for the end of the year holidays, and, in the case of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, with the mandatory nature of masks to teachers, administrative staff, visitors and providers, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

The school authorities of both counties indicated that due to a law signed by DeSantis, masks cannot be imposed on students, for whom they also recommend their use.

“Approximately 90% of our students from 5 to 11 years old in Miami-Dade are not vaccinated,” said the vice president of the Miami-Dade Public Schools Board, Steve Gallon, according to the local channel WPLG today.

In southern Broward County, masks are optional for teachers and staff.

State law does not apply to private schools, and for this reason last Saturday the Archdiocese of Miami announced that it was reintroducing as of today and temporarily the mandate of masks both to its staff and to students over two years of age in its more than 60 schools in the area.

DeSantis, declared an opponent of confinements and the mandatory nature of face masks, reiterated today that, despite the rebound in COVID-19 cases, Florida schools will remain open.

“It would be so damaging to do that now,” he said in his meeting with journalists. “Children need to be in school, they don’t need to follow some crazy mitigation measure, just let them be kids,” he added.

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