THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke on a range of topics related to the coronavirus Monday afternoon during a visit to Central Florida.
The governor was joined by Dr. Scott Atlas, adviser to President Donald Trump on the coronavirus pandemic, during a visit to the UF Health The Villages Hospital.
DeSantis continued to reiterate that the state is headed in the right direction in the battle against the virus.
"The number of COVID positive patients that are currently hospitalized is down nearly 60 percent statewide from our July peek," DeSantis said.
Florida's new coronavirus cases on Monday dropped below 2,000, the lowest number since June 14.
The governor said the state will not impose the stringent lockdowns that Florida saw earlier this year.
"We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they'll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe," DeSantis said.
The governor was possibly referring to a statement Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made this month during an interview with ABC News in which Biden said he would shut down the country if scientists recommended.
Department of Education Richard Corcoran said that all of Florida's schools have now begun the fall term with almost 60 percent of parents choosing in-person learning for their children.
"Kids are very low spreaders [of the coronavirus] ... We don't have a case in Florida yet where we've seen a child in the K-12 setting spread it to an adult, but the other way around is much more dangerous," Corcoran said.
"The harm of not opening schools is really tremendous," Atlas said. "We want to have schools open as much as possible. … We want to give options to parents because everyone has to feel safe."
DeSantis said it is imperative that sick students stay home from school but doesn't agree with quarantining healthy children.
"Quarantining healthy people, I think, is a big problem," DeSantis said.
Atlas agreed and said "children have no serious risk from (coronavirus). It is very safe for them. They can handle this."
The Florida Department of Health on Monday said there are 623,471 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11,187 coronavirus-related deaths in the state.