The Florida Department of Health reported 386 new positive COVID-19 cases (374 Florida residents and 12 non-Florida residents) and fourteen deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday. The fourteen people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 were from Broward, Collier, Dade, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Volusia counties.
This brings the state’s total to 40,982 cases and 1735 deaths related to COVID-19.
On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis made several announcements at a press conference at Lee Health.
Governor DeSantis announced that as the state continues to focus on testing, more resources are being made available, including antibody testing.
He also announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has included Florida in a second-round of remdesivir shipments. Doses of remdesivir will be distributed to hospitals statewide as requested to help individuals that have been hospitalized with serious COVID-19 symptom.
Remdesivir is an antiviral medication originally developed by biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola. Although the drug didn’t work well against that disease, it later showed promise fighting SARS and MERS — illnesses caused by coronaviruses — in animal studies, which is why researchers thought remdesivir might help fight COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that preliminary data analysis from a clinical trial on remdesivir, showed hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received the drug recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo.
This prompted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue an emergency use authorization for remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.