MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a coronavirus press briefing Wednesday morning at Hard Rock Stadium, at which time he announced some new changes at the testing site in Miami Gardens.
Antibody testing is now underway for healthcare workers and first responders at the location, but the governor hopes to eventually expand that testing to the general public.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which show if you had a previous infection with the virus. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection.”
Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections.
The CDC says it’s unclear whether the antibodies can provide immunity against getting infected again with COVID-19.
DeSantis on Wednesday also unveiled a new rapid testing mobile lab that can get COVID-19 results out quickly.
During the news conference, he announced that one person who had been tested while he was speaking had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
DeSantis said he plans to take the mobile testing lab to long-term care facilities.
The state also rolled out a new machine Wednesday at Hard Rock Stadium that can decontaminate personal protective equipment.
DeSantis said the machine can clean as many as 80,000 masks a day, so the masks can be reusable and bring down the huge demand for PPE.
The governor’s news conference came as Florida reported just over 38,000 cases and more than 1,500 deaths statewide.
While much of the state began their Phase 1 of reopening, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties remain under Safer at Home orders.
DeSantis said the tri-county area may not open all at once, depending on how much progress is made with COVID-19 cases in each area.
“If Miami’s making better progress and you have a major outbreak in Palm Beach, should Miami be held back? And no, we tended to look at them as similar, but I think that anyone who lives down here — I mean, there’s a world of difference between Miami and Palm Beach — the three countries are very diverse,” DeSantis said. “So no, we wouldn’t hold them to that. I think we basically just looked at the general trends and then just talked to all the local officials and they just basically were saying, ‘We want to get there, we’re eager to get there, but we’re probably not quite ready.’”