MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. — Calling it a "dramatic decline," Gov. Ron DeSantis says the average age of coronavirus patients in Florida has dropped significantly from the 60s months ago to 37 just last week.
The governor held a news conference on Friday at the Ernest R. Graham Center on the campus of Florida International University in Miami-Dade County.
"What we've seen over the last couple weeks is really a dramatic decline in that median age," DeSantis said. "Last week, the median age of all the positive tests in the state of Florida was 37."
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Looking at Thursday's COVID-19 test results specifically, DeSantis said the median age of coronavirus patients in Palm Beach County was 40, Broward County was 41, and Miami-Dade County was 33.
The governor added that when COVID-19 testing started months ago, the average age of patients was in the 60s.
"Those under 40, in particular, who don't have any significant underlying conditions, are much, much less likely to be hospitalized or to suffer fatality," DeSantis said.
A lot of the people testing positive in Florida right now are not showing symptoms of the virus, according to the governor.
"Particularly in the younger cohort, you're finding infections with minimal or zero symptoms," DeSantis said.
The governor admitted that the shift in the median age is due, in part, to the economy reopening and younger Floridians getting out and about to socialize.
"A lot of this is voluntary compliance," DeSantis said. "You're just not gonna be able to police every single group of people, every single time. I think as you get into this, months after months, I think people do get a little tired, particularly in some of the age groups that may not be as at risk."
64 counties in Florida, excluding Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County, are now under Phase Two of the state's reopening plan, meaning bars and entertainment venues like movie theaters are allowed to reopen.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 89,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 3,104 deaths.
On Friday, the cases in Florida skyrocketed by an additional 3,822 across the state.