ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The state of Florida is closing in on a sobering milestone.
Florida will pass one million Covid 19 cases soon, possibly on Monday. The state surpassed 992,000 cases on Sunday. Texas and California were the first two states to surpass a million cases.
Florida Covid-19 deaths remain at 18,500.
How did we get here?
It seems so long ago, but it was the first week of March that Governor Ron DeSantis addressed residents, saying the state had its first two confirmed positive cases.
And they were from the Bay area, a Tampa woman and a Manatee County man.
Then, a statewide stay at home order came exactly one month after the first confirmed cases as the state passed 10,000 cases.
For months, tests were hard to come by.
At the state run sites, patrons had to prove they had symptoms and were a resident to get a test.
Now, it’s as simple as showing up.
In May, Gov. DeSantis started to lift many of the business restrictions, only for it all to take a step back in June when bars were shut down once again.
The number of cases has steadily risen since October after plateauing at around 2,000 hospitalizations daily for weeks following the summer surge of the virus.
Unlike in the spring and summer, officials have not adopted additional restrictions in Florida to prevent the virus from spreading.
While the case count ballooned in November, it also brought some hope.
Three different pharmaceutical companies announced successful vaccine trials. Now the wait is on for at least one of them to be approved.
For a few weeks, Gov. DeSantis was releasing video statements about the status of Covid in the state. But we haven’t heard much from him recently - except about the potential vaccine.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed Tampa General Hospital will be one of the first hospitals in the state to receive it.
Information from the Associated press was used in this report.