Florida’s Department of Health registered 197,768 new COVID-19 cases for the week ending on January 30th, marking a 30 percent decrease from the week prior and a near 50 percent decrease from the first week of January.
The Sunshine State has seen a sharp decline in new cases in January, following record highs in December which were largely due in part to the extreme spread of the Omicron variant during the holidays. Florida now ranks 37th among all states in the rate of transmission on a person-to-person basis, according to a John Hopkins University analysis.
In recent days, the federal government barred the administration of monoclonal antibody treatment, specifically Eli Lilly and Regeneron, of which Gov. Ron DeSantis has advocated for.
“Without a shred of clinical data to support this action, Biden has forced trained medical professionals to choose between treating their patients or breaking the law,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This indefensible edict takes treatment out of the hands of medical professionals and will cost some Americans their lives. There are real-world implications to Biden’s medical authoritarianism – Americans’ access to treatments is now subject to the whims of a failing president.”
As a result of the abrupt action, the appointments for more than 2,000 Floridians to receive this treatment were immediately canceled on Jan. 25, 2022.
“This decision was made solely by Biden’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) without advance warning to states or health providers and without clinical data to support the decision. The deliberate decision by the Biden Administration to make this announcement effective immediately, through a press release, actively prevents states and health care providers from making real-time operational decisions that save lives,” the governor continued.
As Florida, and the nation at large, recover from the Omicron wave of transmission, organizations and governing bodies are allowing for a decreased level of precautionary measures.
On Tuesday, Orange County School District, Florida’s 4th largest school district, announced their intention to reject COVID-19 infection as an excused absence in schools.
“The number of cases has continued to decline, and we continue to require face masks for adults and strongly encourage them for students,” the school district said on Twitter. “It is also an additional strain on our teachers as they continue to manage assignments for large numbers of absent students.”
Additionally, sports associations like the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) have plans in place to only test those athletes that show symptoms, scrapping the up-until-now-used protocol of testing all players at set intervals.
As of Feb. 1st, 77.2 percent of all Floridians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with just over 65 percent receiving two doses.