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'We’re not locking people down': Gov. DeSantis says Florida will stay open despite rising COVID-19 cases

Lockdowns are still off the table for the Republican governor.
Credit: CBS

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — “If anyone is calling for lockdowns, you’re not getting that done in Florida."

That was Gov. Ron DeSantis' response when asked his thoughts about a group of physicians taking issue with the state's COVID response. 

The governor said he will work to protect people's livelihoods, a kid's right to go to school and a small businesses' ability to operate at a time when Florida, along with other states, are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases.

“To have the government come in and lock anyone down, or restrict anybody is totally unacceptable. It’s easy for some physicians to advocate that because it doesn’t affect them. It does affect the people in this state," he added. 

According to DeSantis, people need to make decisions that are best for them while approaching the pandemic. He also cited the wide availability of three vaccines to the public as a means of protection against the virus. 

“We’re gonna lift people up. We’re not locking people down," DeSantis said.

The comments come at a time where some people who have been fully vaccinated are still testing positive for COVID-19 given the emergence of additional variants. 

Within three days of each other Congressman Vern Buchanan and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who are both fully vaccinated, tested positive.

It's a realization DeSantis says the state has to be honest with people about while still encouraging vaccination. 

“I think what [the vaccine] does do, is it really prevents against severe outcomes. Particularly death or a serious hospitalization," DeSantis said.

The conversation comes as COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida nearly doubled from week to week.

According to the Florida Department of Health, July 9-15 saw 45,604 new cases and a percent positivity of 11.5 percent — a high not seen for months.

The previous week's percent positivity was 7.8 percent, with 23,562 cases reported.

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