As brought to our attention by Florida lawmaker Blaise Ingoglia (R-Hernando County), COVID in the Sunshine State isn’t as bad as the news makes it seem.
Here’s what Ingoglia posted on his Facebook page Monday:
“Friends, please take a look at this new graphic our office made. The national media loves to make Florida the punching bag and New York the hero when it comes to COVID-19. This lists the 15 states with the lowest and the highest rates of transmission r(t). If the r(t) is greater than 1.0 you can expect quicker spread. If the r(t) is less than 1.0 you can expect slower spread. As you can see, Florida is under 1.0 and comes in at the 14th lowest rate of transmission. Texas, another media punching bag, has the lowest r(t). Now, I’m not saying everything has been sunshine and rainbows but Florida (regarding transmission) is a better position than 35 other states including NY.”
From the perspective of someone who lives in Florida, I can tell you that COVID testing was not easily available or reliable in the beginning. The first major batch of tests in Florida was returned 100% negative. According to my doctor, that means the tests did not work.
One of my close friends fell sick after coming into contact with a confirmed COVID case linked to a cruise ship. She took a test after experiencing COVID symptoms. Her test was returned negative three weeks later.
How ironic that as testing becomes more accurate and available in Florida, the news reports a surge in cases. As noted in the graphic above, Florida is among the 15 states with the lowest rate of transmission. Perhaps this is why Florida has experienced relatively few deaths compared to its case number.
Florida has reported roughly 433,000 cases and 5,930 deaths. New York has reported 417,000 cases and a whopping 32,322 deaths. California has reported 467,000 cases and 8,544 deaths.
What this tells me is that despite a large number of cases in Florida, you are less likely to catch COVID in Florida than in New York or California – so put on a mask and enjoy the sunshine!