Florida and California have taken dramatically different approaches to tackle the spread of coronavirus — but both states have seen key metrics improve in recent weeks.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed more stringent rules, most recently mandating a statewide stay-at-home order Dec. 3 that lasted through the holiday season.
The order, which was lifted Jan. 25, went as far as to ban outdoor dining, beauty services and religious services.
In the Sunshine State, on the other hand, steps were taken to ensure that businesses were kept open.
Gov. Ron DeSantis in September prevented local municipalities from implementing restrictions that would force restaurants and bars to operate at less than half-capacity.
He also signed an executive order that prevented businesses from facing fines for defying COVID-19-related orders.
DeSantis on Sunday argued that the state was “focused on lifting people up” while “lockdown states” are “putting people out of business.”
Beachgoers soak up the sun as temperatures soared into the mid 80’s in Lake Worth Beach, Fla., on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post via AP)
“There’s a whole bunch of things we’ve been doing for COVID, but at the same time, we’ve lifted our state up, we’ve saved our economy and I think we’re going to be first out of the gate once we are able to put COVID behind the country,” he told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
But despite the two states’ varying approaches this winter, they have yielded similar results.
Manhattan Beach in California looks like a ghost town compared to Florida — a diametrically different approach to tackling COVID-19.Getty Images
Both states grappled with a surge in cases around Jan. 1, with the number of infections trending downwards a few weeks later.
They’re now both seeing an average of between 200 and 400 cases per million people, and have each reported declines over the last several days, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
A sign advising social distance is posted at a closed parking lot to Ocean Beach during the coronavirus outbreak, in San Francisco.AP
Similarly, the two states have also seen improvement with hospitalizations.
About a month ago, California was reporting a rate of 56 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, while Florida saw a rate of 35, the data shows.
Now, the Golden State is recording 24 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, while Florida is reporting about 22, data shows.
California is currently leading the nation in the total number of cases, but it has nearly twice the number of residents of Florida.
A Fort Lauderdale restaurant packed with patrons. MediaPunch / BACKGRID
When the cases are adjusted for population, their tally is about the same.
California has recorded about 8,822 cases per 100,000 people, while Florida has about 8,508 for the same population, data shows.