DeSantis promises executive order against ‘vaccine passports’ as Florida reports 5,136 new COVID-19 cases

NY launches vaccine passport app
NY launches vaccine passport app

ORLANDO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he plans to issue an executive order banning the use of so-called “vaccine passports” by businesses or local governments.

The governor is also pressing the legislature to take a more permanent measure against any requirements that would force someone to show proof of vaccination before entering a business or traveling.

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“So we’re taking action,” he said. “We’ll also have something to say that, ‘That’s just simply not going to be permitted in the state of Florida.’”

At the same time, Florida is seeing a jump in the number of COVID-19 infections from variant strains of the virus.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of the U.K. variant, B.1.1.7, have more than doubled to nearly 2,300 in Florida since last week.

The CDC also noted an increase of the Brazilian and South African variants in the state.

Overall cases in several states, including Florida, have been trending slightly higher.

“The variants are playing a part, but it is not completely the variants,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. “What we’re likely seeing is because of things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you’ve seen.”

Fauci said he thinks it’s too soon to relax mask-use and other rules put in place to keep the virus in check.

Fauci did add, however, that if the quick pace of vaccinations continues in the United States, the country should stay on track for a big improvement by the summer.

However, even the population that has been vaccinated is seeing new infections.

They’re called COVID-19 breakthrough cases — people who have been fully vaccinated yet still contract the virus more than 14 days after their second shot.

Breakthrough cases are not specific to COVID-19 and can happen with any vaccine, according to experts.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida adds 3,614 new COVID-19 cases as US government considers creating ‘vax passport’]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 30.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 5,136 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,052,441 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 92 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 33,983. This number includes the 645 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 2,927 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since last March, 84,973 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 266 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Tuesday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 6.36% Monday out of 80,797 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.

Vaccinations

The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

FDOH reports 3,204,377 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

As of Tuesday, 5,761,310 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Tuesday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard37,1161042,163108071
Flagler6,655263600960
Lake26,604971,37776011
Marion28,996451,95579182
Orange123, 3523342,57551,1853
Osceola39,5211101,35224842
Polk61,0191674,749141,24710
Seminole29,9551391,19244660
Sumter8,78025554625814
Volusia38,0691741,946117160

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.