JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami) – Governor DeSantis said the state is ramping up efforts as the coronavirus numbers continue to climb.
Speaking in Jacksonville, DeSantis says he’s working with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services “to expedite shipments of remdesivir, a therapeutic that is used that is being used in hospital throughout the state.”
He said the next shipment was scheduled for next week but he thought we should “get it here as soon as possible.”
DeSantis believes Florida is the first in line for the expedited shipments. He said the initial plan was to have it delivered to hospitals. The governor said they are now thinking of having it shipped directly to the state and they would distribute it.
DeSantis says they are also working on speeding up getting test results.
“For symptomatic people, and what we’re going to do is we’re going to contract with some of the companies who do the self swab, send it in, and then get a quicker turnaround time. And we believe that we probably could get that within 72 hours, which would be very, very helpful,” he said.
“Part of the problem is when the tests are taking a long time to get turned around, if you’re asymptomatic, well, what are you supposed to do stay home and wait if you’re not sick? Then if you’re symptomatic, obviously, you need to know whether you have coronavirus or you have something else,” he said.
“The symptomatic, really I think, is where we want to get the turnaround time as quickly as possible. So we’re going to be doing that and in a few of the counties, we’d obviously would like to expand that, particularly if it’s effective at doing a quick turnaround time. But for now, we’re targeting Dade, Broward and Orange counties for that, just because they have the highest volume right now. But hopefully, we’ll be able to expand it further as we go down the line,” he said.
DeSantis says they have also been assisting hospitals with personnel support.
“If you look at what’s going on, they have a lot of capacity in terms of bed. Particularly in some parts of the state, they have seasonally less staff now because they typically have fewer patients in the summertime than they do in the wintertime. They also have additional stress on their staff when, now that everyone that comes into the hospital who is going to give birth, or down in Miami people getting into a car accident, they get swabbed. People are turning up positive for coronavirus even though they are asymptomatic and they are in the hospital for something else,” he said.
The governor said even though these people are not being treated for it, but it does require certain protocols to be put in place so they can be appropriately isolated and it becomes more labor-intensive.
Earlier this week, Ron DeSantis has agreed to send Jackson Health System extra nurses to help with the increase in COVID-19 patients filling up its intensive care unit.
DeSantis announced 100 nurses under contract with the state to work in South Florida will be sent to Jackson Memorial, the state’s largest public hospital while he waits for the federal government to respond to a request he made to Vice President Mike Pence for additional medical personnel.