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Fauci says Florida's decision to fully reopen bars and restaurants 'very concerning'

By Brooke Baitinger, Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

It's the exact environment that Fauci warned against on "Good Morning America." He encouraged reopening the economy, but doing so in a prudent way.

Broward County's strip clubs were allowed to open Monday. Miami-Dade's clubs can open Wednesday.

Florida's coronavirus cases continued on the downswing Monday, with the state reporting some of its lowest numbers yet: 738 new cases and another five deaths.

The last time the number of new coronavirus cases was this low was in early June, when the state tallied 617 on June 2.

Monday also marked a near-record low for reported deaths. The state logged its lowest tally of four back on May 31.

State officials on Monday reported the daily testing positivity rate for Florida was below 5% for the fifth straight day.

The data show the daily positivity at 4.23%, up from 4.08% the previous day. This figure reflects only new infections based on COVID-19 testing for the day; it does not count people who previously tested positive for the disease.

 

The rate has been below 5% for 15 out of the past 17 days, dipping to 3.85% on Sept. 13, the lowest in three months. Public health experts say the virus is under control at this level.

Despite the low number of cases, some experts are worried the reopening may tip the balance in the wrong direction and cause a surge in cases in Florida, one of the summer hotspots for the highly contagious disease.

Dr. Terry Adirim, Dean at FAU's School of Medicine, told Sun Sentinel news partner WPEC-Ch. 12 she expects to see COVID-19 cases rise in a few weeks.

"If we are going to see the surge we're likely to see, it will hit in a few months, and it will hit the same time we see flu," said Adirim. "So this could be a very catastrophic surge for our healthcare system and for our citizens."

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