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Health News Florida
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: FL Reports Lowest Daily Death Toll In 3 Weeks, Business Complaints, 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:

The total number of coronavirus cases in Florida surpassed 40,000 on Saturday, health officials said. Here are the latest figures as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 10, according to the Florida Department of Health:

39,514 – Florida Residents | 1,082 – Non-Florida Residents | 1,721 – Deaths

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Florida Posts Six Deaths, Lowest Daily Increase In Three Weeks

Florida Department of Health officials reported six deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday. It’s the lowest number of deaths reported in one day since April 19, which was also a Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon, 40,596 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, up 595 since Saturday. That includes 39,514 Florida residents and 1,082 non-Florida residents.

A total of 1,721 people have died in Florida of COVID-19.

The state reported 92 new cases in the Tampa Bay area Sunday, with one death reported in Pinellas County. [Read more]

-- Mark Schreiner

Florida Receives Thousands Of Complaints About Businesses Not Following Coronavirus Orders

Floridians have filed more than 2,200 complaints to the state over the past two months about businesses failing to comply with executive orders that imposed restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The complaints have dealt with issues such as vacation rental properties, restaurants, sale of alcoholic beverages, barbering and cosmetology.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Karen Smith said complaints are assigned to specific divisions with the agency but didn’t say if fines have been issued. [Read more]

-- News Service of Florida

University Of South Florida Confers Spring Degrees Virtually

This weekend, more than 7,000 University of South Florida students joined the ranks of the school's alumni. But they did it in a way that had not been done before.

Commencement ceremonies for USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee were all virtual, because of social distancing guidelines that remain in place due to the novel coronavirus. 

USF System President Steven Currall praised the spring 2020 class for its perseverance. 

"USF graduates aren't afraid to face the unknown, and that's exactly what you have done, with optimism and courage. Your entire university experience changed, moving from in-person to online, but you found ways to stay connected to your professors and classmates," Currall said. [Read more]

-- Susan Giles Wantuck

Florida Reports 650 Coronavirus Deaths At Nursing Homes

Florida is reporting that more than 650 patients have died from the coronavirus at the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The state Department of Health released figures late Friday showing that 656 patients and eight employees have died at Florida facilities. That's almost 40% of the state's 1,669 confirmed deaths from COVID-19.

One facility near St. Petersburg has had 23 deaths with 13 others in Florida reporting at least 10.

People over 65 and those with underlying health conditions are particularly endangered by the disease, making nursing homes especially vulnerable to outbreaks.

The state now has more than 40,000 confirmed cases of the disease. [Read more]

-- Associated Press

Incoming Florida Senate President: Special Legislative Session Unnecessary

The incoming president of Florida's Senate is pushing back on the idea of recalling the Legislature to the Capitol for a special session to deal with economic consequences of the pandemic, the upcoming elections or other matters.

Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Spring Hill, said he may reconsider in June the need for a special session. But Simpson said Florida's deep $4 billion in reserves can help it weather the financial problems caused by the virus shutdown, and he believes Gov. Ron DeSantis has authority to appropriate pending federal aid and state matching money without approval by lawmakers.

Simpson, the Senate's president-elect, made the remarks in an interview this week with Fresh Take Florida, a news service operated by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Simpson said he believes DeSantis could appropriate federal emergency matching funds himself, nullifying the need for a special session. But he said lawmakers were prepared to return to Tallahassee if needed. [Read more]

-- Steven Walker, Fresh Take Florida

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