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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Latest On Coronavirus: Florida Cases Approaching 19,000, DeSantis Loosens Testing Criteria, And More

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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. Saturday, April 11 according to the Florida Department of Health.

18,445 – Florida Residents | 9 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 541 – Non-Florida Residents | 446 – Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And WUSF Public Media 

NEWSLETTER: Sign Up For Coronavirus Updates From Health News Florida

Florida Cases Approaching 19,000

Florida coronavirus cases jumped by more than 1,000 in Florida in the last 24 hours, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The 6 p.m. update shows 18,445 people have tested positive in the state, an increase of 1,018 from Friday night.

In addition, 446 people have died, an increase of 39 in the last 24 hours. Three people died in Hillsborough  County, bringing the total to 15, and two in Sarasota, which now has 12 deaths. [Read more]

-- Carl Lisciandrello

DeSantis Loosens Testing Criteria

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was at the TIAA Bank Field Lot J COVID-19 testing site in Jacksonville on Friday afternoon, where he announced testing criteria will be loosened for people who are asymptomatic.

“Anybody who has had close, sustained contact with an individual that has recently tested positive for COVID-19 may get tested,” DeSantis said. “Even if you personally haven't developed symptoms, I think what we're trying to do is get a sense of people that are asymptomatic, who may be carrying the virus and maybe spreading the virus.” [Read more]

-- Sky Lebron, WJCT

Work On I-4 To Be Accelerated

Sections of the massive Interstate 4 “Ultimate” project in Central Florida will see accelerated work as the state takes advantage of a coronavirus-created reduction in traffic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault said Saturday that work will be moved up a month or two on parts of the 21-mile project in Seminole and Orange counties.

“We should take advantage of this pause,” DeSantis said. “People aren’t able to go to work. Kids aren’t going to school. There’s a lot of negatives involved. The fact that we don’t have as many people on the roads, let’s take advantage of that and try to make some progress.” [Read more]

-- News Service of Florida

Florida Unemployment Nears Record

First-time unemployment claims this week appear headed toward a record.

During a mid-day appearance Friday in Jacksonville, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 225,755 initial claims had been filed this week.https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/florida-unemployment-nears-record-state-tries-alleviate-crushing-demand

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated that 169,885 jobless claims had been filed in Florida during the week ending April 4, after a record 228,484 claims during the prior week. [Read more]

-- News Service of Florida
How Small Businesses Can Get Help
Small businesses that have been forced to close because of COVID-19 are getting some relief. Many Tampa Bay cities and counties are helping lend a financial hand.

Here's a guide to where you can get help.

-- Steve Newborn

Ask Your Coronavirus Questions On ‘The State We’re In’

Join public media stations WUSF in Tampa and WMFE in Orlando Tuesday for an exclusive Facebook Live conversation. You’ll get to ask Donna Peterson, Dean of the USF College of Public Health, your Covid-19 questions. 

t’s all part of a new show, called “The State We’re In” - broadcasting Tuesdays at noon. Each week, we’ll look at how the pandemic is reshaping people and communities along the I-4 corridor. You’ll connect with health care experts, economic analysts, civic leaders and people experiencing the pandemic just like you.

We’re taking your questions now for Dean Peterson here and on Facebook.

Join us on Facebook Tuesday at noon to hear the answers.

-- Mary Shedden

The Florida Roundup Discusses Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, has been touted by some politicians, including President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis to treat coronavirus, but it does not have the approval of the Centers for Disease Control for this use.

And as the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Florida climb, the anticipated peak of the outbreak has been moved up by a widely followed model predicting when demand for hospital beds, intensive care units and ventilators may be at its highest.

We discussed this topics on this week’s Florida Roundup. [Listen to the show]

-- Sarah Glenn, WJCT

Some ABA Clinics Close, Move To Telehealth 

Behavior clinics that serve children on the autism spectrum were already facing closures because of changes to the state Medicaid system and costly licensure requirements.

To cut costs and continue to serve as many children as safely as possible, some behavior analysis clinics are taking advantage of relaxed telehealth rules during the coronavirus pandemic. [Read more]

-- Daylina Miller

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I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
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.
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.