Latest on Coronavirus: State Total Over 1,000; Students At USF, UT Test Positive And More
WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:
Total positive cases of coronavirus as of 11 a.m. Sunday, March 22, according to the Florida Department of Health.
937 – Florida Residents |6 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 70 – Non-Florida Residents | 13 Deaths
Coronavirus Cases In Florida Top 1,000
The number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus topped 1,000, according to the Sunday evening update from the Florida Department of Health.
The total cases - 1,007 – reflects a 237-person increase in just 24 hours. It’s the result in a massive ramp up in testing across the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis said earlier Sunday.
The latest update includes 937 Florida residents diagnosed with COVID-19. Seventy non-residents also tested positive, but are isolated in the state, according to the 6 p.m. update.
The more than 11,000 tests taken place so far are being conducted at both public and private labs across Florida. The Department of Health says results are pending on 933 cases.
DeSantis: No Statewide Stay-In-Place Order Yet
There will be no "shelter-in-place" order for Floridians to stay at home, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday afternoon, although state like New York, California and Illinois are telling its residents to leave home only for emergencies.
Still, DeSantis said people should stay at home and travel as little as possible.
DeSantis spoke from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, where the National Guard has set up the state's second mobile testing site for COVID-19. The first, in Pembroke Pines in neighboring Broward County, took samples from 745 people on its first day, and another 702 the second day, the governor said.
USFSP Student Tests Positive for COVID-19
The first University of South Florida student to be found with COVID-19 was diagnosed over the weekend. The student attends USF St. Petersburg, according to University President Steve Currall.
Currall said in a statement the student is being monitored by the Florida Department of Health’s Pinellas County division and is in self-isolation. The student has not been on the campus since late February.
One New Death, 67 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Sunday Morning
The Florida Department of Health Sunday morning announced one new death and 67 new cases of people testing positive for coronavirus.
Florida now has 830 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths from the virus. Sixty-two of those cases were found in non-Florida residents.
The latest person who died tested positive in Palm Beach County.
As of Sunday morning, a total of 9,783 people have been tested in Florida, with 7,990 testing negative. Test results are still pending for 963 people, the state reported.
The state is also monitoring 1,099 people for symptoms of the disease.
- Mary Shedden
Six University of Tampa Students Test Positive For COVID-19
The University of Tampa reports that five students who had traveled together for Spring Break have tested positive for COVID-19.
Four of the five students are self-isolating and on campus, the University said in a statement Saturday evening. One of the students did not return to campus but is self-isolating. None needed to be hospitalized.
The sixth UT student tested positive on March 16 after travelling abroad. The student is self-isolating on campus.
The Florida Department of Health is working to identify people who had contact with the four students in order to quarantine them.
Students at UT had previously ordered to leave campus for the remainder of the spring semester, unless they had no other housing options. Students who register that they are staying on campus will have access to residence halls and grab-and-go campus food, the university said. The campus health center is available remotely for medical services, or students are encouraged to access Tampa General Hospital urgent care.
- Mary Shedden
Tampa Mayor To Request Shelter In Place Order
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will be asking Hillsborough County leaders to issue a county-wide ‘stay-at-home’ order as soon as Monday.
Castor said Saturday that she will take the request to ‘shelter in place’ to the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group – a consortium of the cities and the county making decisions related to coronavirus.
We know this is frustrating for individuals. It’s inconvenient. But think about it. If we take these actions now, we can flatten the curve,’’ she said. “We can reduce the number of cases hopefully save lives and we will be able to get back to our normal lives much quicker.
A stay-at-home order means that people will allowed to leave home for only essential services, such as going to the grocery store.
- Mary Shedden