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Which State is Handling COVID Better: California or Florida?

Which State is Handling COVID Better: California or Florida?

The coronavirus pandemic has been a vastly different experience in Florida than in California. In the Golden State, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has implemented round after round of closures and has forced students to continue taking classes online. Compare this to Florida, where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis allowed bars and restaurants to reopen in the summer and has given public schools the green light to resume classes. So how do COVID cases in California and Florida compare?

Based on each state’s response to the pandemic, it may come as a surprise that the number of COVID cases in California is twice that of Florida.

The Sunshine State also has a much lower unemployment rate than California (6.5 and 9.3, respectively).

“So I hear people say, ‘Oh, well, Florida is open, and they’re having increased cases,’” said DeSantis in November. “Well, okay, the states that are locked down are increasing at twice the rate we are. If you look at the per capita cases, in a lot of these states that have closed schools, businesses shuttered, some of them even post stay-at-home orders there, you see a huge increase in these cases.”

COVID cases in California and Florida have been roughly the same per capita. But Florida has reported more deaths. The state has 110 deaths per 100,000 residents. California’s rate is 81 deaths per 100,000 residents. Keep in mind more than 21% of Florida’s residents are 65 years old or older.

Take a look at the chart above.

It shows the number of cases in Florida alongside the 10 states with the strictest combined requirements on business openings and stay-at-home advisories. According to Politifact, Florida performed even better against states with restrictions similar to its own – including Nebraska, South Dakota, and Indiana. This suggests other factors may be at play here, most likely the warm climate that allows for outside dining year-round.

Recent data from the CDC suggests that California’s death rate is increasing while Florida’s is diminishing. California’s rate of new cases is also climbing. It has reached 105 per 100,000 residents, compared to Florida’s rate of 64 per 100,000 residents. Hospitalization rates in California are estimated at 56 per 100,000 residents compared to Florida’s rate of 36 per 100,000 residents.

Author’s Note: Considering the fact that Florida has the highest per capita rate of retirees in the nation, these numbers reflect very poorly on California and its Democratic leadership.

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