Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said his administration is considering relocating those who test positive for COVID-19, or show symptoms, to shelters, such as empty convention centers or hotels. This would prevent them from returning home and possibly infecting family, friends or neighbors.
This would mark a dramatic shift in strategy to combat the spread of coronavirus. For weeks, village, county, state and federal officials have encouraged people to stay home if they are sick, but that message seems to be falling short, with persistent rumors of residents who have tested positive out-and-about in places like Winn Dixie.
Isolating people with symptoms in shelters, instead of staying at home, has been successful in China. The country has found success isolating people who don’t require hospitalization in hotels and other sites. For the first time since the outbreak started, the country reported zero new local infections of the coronavirus this week. “What China started figuring out was, as much as you can believe them, people would get infected, you would send them home and they’d infect the people in their house,” DeSantis said Saturday.
DeSantis has asked agencies to explore the use of such sites. Hotels have reportedly offered their rooms and spaces to the government, he said.