The risk of catching COVID-19 is high everywhere in the nation currently, evident locally by longer lines at testing sites and strains on the medical profession.
The number of Florida hospital patients with COVID-19 also has more than doubled during the past week, according to data posted Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency reported that 5,700 inpatients had COVID-19, up from 2,406 a week earlier.
"We have staff out," Lowenkron said of the primary care centers. "So our patients need to recognize that and be patient."
Lowenkron said heavy media attention has contributed to more people wanting to get tested.
Ladapo indicated the state Department of Health would issue guidance that would "unwind the testing psychology” of the federal government.
"We need to unwind this … planning and living one's life around testing,” Ladapo said during a news conference at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale on Monday. "Without it, we're going to be sort of stuck in the same cycle. So, it's really time for people to be living, to make the decisions they want regarding vaccination, to enjoy the fact that many people have natural immunity. And to unwind this sort of preoccupation with only COVID as determining the boundaries and constraints and possibilities of life.”
DeSantis pointed to what he characterized as frivolous testing for COVID-19.
"What you are seeing is there are people going to the drug stores, buying all these tests. They'll go multiple times per week to the sites and test, without symptoms. That is just going to contribute to some of the crunch that you are seeing,” DeSantis said.
A spokeswoman with CVS told the Daily Sun the Florida-based pharmacy chain has provided 41 million tests already, and thus far, is meeting the growing demand for on-site testing requests.
Ladapo said Florida's upcoming shift in the approach to testing would put an emphasis on higher-risk people, though he did not give specifics of the plan. He suggested that the new guidance "doesn't restrict access to testing, but reduces the use of low-value testing and prioritizes high-value testing.”
CVS and Walgreens both offer appointments for vaccines.