Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attributes spike in coronavirus numbers to farm workers’ outbreak

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The numbers are alarming. On Friday, nearly 2,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state.

Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis said the spike in cases can be explained.

"What you are seeing is . . . well I think the No. 1 outbreak we've seen is in the agriculture communities. There was just a big case dump in north central Florida where there's a watermelon farm. These are workers that are working close together. Once one gets it, it tends to spread very rapidly," DeSantis said during a visit Friday to Coral Gables.

But just farm workers testing positive and prisoners cannot account for the entire rise in coronavirus cases. On Friday, Florida set a one-day record with 1,902 cases along with 29 deaths. The total is 70,971 cases across the state.

DeSantis said even though there are more cases, fewer people are going to the hospital.

"From the Memorial Day weekend, I looked from the 24th to today. Miami-Dade COVID hospitalizations are down 13 percent," he said.

We also asked the governor about moving the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville in late August. Will it be safe by then to cram thousands of people into an indoor arena?

"They are really working hard on it. They are working hard with the folks at the White House. And so it was convinced to me that it could be done in a way that would minimize risks to folks. Of course, if some of the delegates span different demographics . . . if you are somebody who is in more of the ‘at risk’ demographic, that may be something you want to consider. "

President Trump pulled the convention out of Charlotte because they could not guarantee him a live audience.

He will get one in Jacksonville on Aug. 27 when he delivers his convention speech at the Vy Star Veterans Memorial Arena.