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After community activists kicked out, Gov. DeSantis discusses COVID-19 testing, treatment

The governor and other state health leaders talked about changing Florida's strategy for COVID-19 testing amid a spike in positive cases.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After his news conference Tuesday in Jacksonville was delayed due to a disruption with community activists and relocated, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about his plan to expand the state's monoclonal antibody treatment sites for COVID-19.

DeSantis is urging the Biden administration to send more doses of the treatment to Florida, saying that the Department of Health and Human Services is not supplying the state with enough doses to meet the demand.

“We’re ready, we’ve prepared but they’re not sending us the doses," DeSantis said. "And so we just got the announcement from HHS and Florida was allocated less than 12,000 doses. And to put that in perspective, we were doing 4,500 a day at the summer peak in August."

The governor called the allocation of 12,000 doses "totally inadequate."

When asked about the earlier events in which Jacksonville community activist Ben Frazier was arrested before DeSantis' scheduled remarks, the governor said "I have no idea what happened. So you can save that for me."

Story continues below.

RELATED: Jacksonville activist charged, kicked out of Gov. DeSantis press conference

The governor's remarks come the day after he gave his first news conference of 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, acknowledging there is a shortage of COVID-19 tests in Florida as the state sees record high numbers of daily cases driven by the omicron variant.

DeSantis was joined by Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.

RELATED: Florida surgeon general: It's time to stop 'planning and living life' around COVID testing

The Florida Department of Health reports 62,504 people have died from COVID-related reasons since the pandemic began.

Just as 2021 came to an end, Florida broke another all-time-high single-day record for COVID-19 cases. On Dec. 30, the state saw 75,962 new cases reported, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

First Coast News' partners in Tampa, WTSP, contributed to this report.

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