DeSantis pivots on Covid-19 surge, says testing doesn’t account for spike

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged on Saturday that the rising number of new Covid-19 cases in Florida cannot be explained away by an increase in testing, and announced plans to step up enforcement of social distancing practices in bars and nightclubs. 

“Even with the testing increasing or being flat, the number of people testing positive is accelerating faster than that,” DeSantis told reporters during a briefing at the state Capitol. “You know that’s evidence that there’s transmission within those communities.”

Just earlier this week, when the state logged nearly 2,800 Covid-19 cases, DeSantis attributed the spike to increased testing among migrant farm workers and in low-income communities. Nationally, Vice President Mike Pence has also sought to downplay the surge in cases by pointing to more available testing. But DeSantis said Saturday that some businesses — especially bars with young patrons seen packed close together and not social distancing — need to be reined in.

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