Florida’s DeSantis Says Virus Antibody Tests Show 16% Positive

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said tests administered in his state Friday that aim to detect Covid-19 antibodies -- indicating whether a person had at some point been exposed to the virus -- showed a 16.1% positive rate.

“That is a significant jump from where we were a month and a half ago,” DeSantis said Saturday during a press conference in St. Augustine. “So there’s a bigger pool of people who have the antibody.”

Coronavirus cases in Florida have surged in recent weeks, part of a wave of U.S. infections centered on southern and western states. The state hit a record number of deaths among residents on Thursday, but both deaths and cases have dropped in the last two days. Florida on Saturday reported a total of 337,569 virus cases and 4,895 deaths among residents.

Among other things, the wave in cases has thrown into disarray the Republican National Convention, due to be held in Jacksonville over four days in late August. Plans for the event were scaled back this week to feature smaller crowds, fewer speeches and the use of selected outdoor venues.

DeSantis, a first-term Republican, urged people who tested positive for the virus antibodies to give blood to help with the treatment of patients currently suffering from the disease.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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