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Latest On Coronavirus: State Cases Surpass 12,000, Jail Deputy Tests Positive For Covid-19, 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 6 p.m. Sunday, April 5, according to the Florida Department of Health.

11,961 – Florida Residents | 9 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 389 – Non-Florida Residents | 221 – Deaths

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Florida Death Total Reaches 221

Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 221 people in Florida, and infected more than 12,000, according to Sunday evening’s update from the Florida Department of Health.

While the state does not release specific data about the people who have died, Sunday’s 6 p.m. release included the addition of 805 new confirmed cases, and 26 more deaths compared to the same time on Saturday.

Read more here.

- Mary Shedden

Scott Wants Clarity On Small Business Loans

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is wanting clarification about financial support for small business owners in Florida affected by the coronavirus.

In a letter sent Sunday to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Scott said there are no requirements written into the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act regarding the “Paycheck Protection Program,” which is supposed to allow business owners apply for bank loans. The act went into effect last week.

Read more here.

- Susan Giles Wantuck

Covid-19 Cases Surpass 12,000, More Than 200 Deaths

More than 200 people in Florida have now died from complications related to the coronavirus, according to the Sunday morning report from the Department of Health.

The report shows that the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in Florida reached 12, 151. Of that, 11,764 are Florida residents and 1,490 are hospitalized.

Mary Shedden

Pinellas Jail Deputy Tests Positive For COVID-19

A Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy who worked at the county jail has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The deputy was last working at the jail on March 19, and according to the sheriff’s office, health officials have identified all inmates and staff who came in contact with the deputy. All were screened and found to have no symptoms.

In a news release, the Sheriff’s Office said it does not believe that any of those people will test positive, as it’s been more than 14 days since they had contact with the infected deputy. That’s the window for developing symptoms.

The Sheriff’s Office said the deputy is recovering and will remain out of work for the foreseeable future.

- Mary Shedden

Another Cruise Ship With Virus Victims Docks In Florida

Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims on board, including two fatalities, has docked in Florida. Princess Cruises spokeswoman Negin Kamali said in an email Saturday the Coral Princess ship docked in Miami. The ship with 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members had been in limbo for days.

As of Thursday, Kamali said seven passengers and five crew members had tested positive for the coronavirus. The cruise line says anyone in need of hospitalization will disembark first. Those fit to fly will begin leaving Sunday, while others who have symptoms of respiratory illness will remain on board until cleared by ship doctors.

- Associated Press

2 Florida Officers Die From Coronavirus, Cases Top 11,000

Officials say two Florida law enforcement officers have died from coronavirus as the number of positive cases in the state topped 11,500. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office issued a press release saying 38-year-old Sgt. Jose Diaz Ayala died Saturday. He had underlying health conditions. Ayala had been with the department 14 years.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said 39-year-old Deputy Shannon Bennett died Friday night from the disease. Tony said at a news conference Saturday that Bennett was a 12-year veteran of the agency. There have been at least 195 virus-related deaths in Florida.

- Associated Press

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I’m the lucky one who guides the WUSF News team as it shares news from across Florida and the 13 amazing counties that we call the greater Tampa Bay region.
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WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.