Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he will not close the state's gyms, despite experts' recommendations.
"I think taking that option away for people to be healthy just doesn't make sense,” the Republican lawmaker said during a Friday press conference. "I think most people who are going to the gyms are in the low-risk groups, and I think what they are doing is making them even less at risk of the coronavirus. So, I don’t think it would make sense to close them."
According to WFLX, DeSantis was responding to a question about an unpublished report prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The July 14 document, which was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, designated Florida as one of the 18 "red zone" states, where the COVID-19 positivity rate was above 10 percent. The report recommended these areas to roll back their respective reopening measures by limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, requiring residents to wear face masks, and closing all bars and gyms.
DeSantis said he had no plans to implement additional restrictions, insisting Florida's high infection rate was due to increased testing.
"I think, the fact that we're testing so much has led to case numbers that have been put out there, and I think kind of unfairly maligning the state " he said. "If some of those states like New York and New Jersey were testing 100,000 a day at their height, they would have had 40,000 or 50,000 cases a day. I think it's important to put that in perspective."
On Saturday, Florida's Department of Health reported more than 10,328 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 90 additional virus-related deaths. The state has now tallied over 337,569 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths since March.