While Florida topped 21,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the total was still lower than the prior week’s total helping to bring down Florida’s trend for cases. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 declined for the eight straight day on Thursday dropping by greater than 200 and falling below 15,000 for the first time since early August.
Over 40,000 Floridians testing positive for COVID-19 have now received monoclonal antibody treatments through the state’s 21 clinics set up across the state. The sites which offer a Regeneron antibody cocktail are recognized as the most effective treatment and are available at no cost to patients. AdventHealth is attributing much of the decline in hospitalizations to monoclonal treatments. The executive director for Advent said, "We do believe the Regeneron therapies are making a difference in reducing hospitalizations".
In other news, Leon County Circuit Court Judge John Cooper formally presented a written ruling on Thursday stating, "If the Defendants strictly enforce the Executive Order, the Department of Health rule, or any other policy prohibiting mask mandates without a parental opt-out, then they are acting without authority and are refusing to comply with all provisions of the law". The written order was immediately appealed by Governor DeSantis. According to Florida Chancellor of Public Schools Jacob Oliva, the appeal automatically stayed Judge Cooper’s ruling meaning the state is able to continue enforcement actions against school districts with mask mandates without parental opt-outs. DeSantis remains confident the state will win the case on appeal.