(USA TODAY) -- When the number of coronavirus deaths reached 54 in Florida on Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis told the state's surgeon general, Dr. Scott Rivkees, to get on the phone and send a public health alert to every Florida resident.
The message Rivkees texted Saturday afternoon was a repeat of the advisory he issued Wednesday, that people 65 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions, should stay home and avoid crowds, and everyone should practice "social distancing."
By Saturday evening, the number of coronavirus cases in Florida stood at 4,038, more than a fivefold increase from a week ago, when the state reported 706 infections. The death count creeped up to 56.
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