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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: 2,783 New Cases Set Single-Day High, Florida Welcome Centers Open, 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:

Here are the latest figures as of Monday, June 15, according to the Florida Department of Health:

80,109 — Positive Tests | 2,993— Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

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2,783 New Coronavirus Cases Mark New Single-Day High In Florida

The Florida Department of Health is reporting the largest daily increase of positive coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.

Today's report shows there are 2,783 new cases. That brings the cumulative total to 80,109.

The previous single-day high of 2,581 new cases was set on Saturday.

Manatee and Polk counties also recorded their highest single-day increases of 62 and 57 cases respectively.

There were 55 new deaths statewide, including 12 in the Tampa Bay region, brining Florida's cumulative total to 2,993. [Read more]

-- Julio Ochoa

Florida Welcome Centers Open

Two state-operated welcome centers opened to the public Monday for the first time since March, while the coronavirus pandemic keeps two others locked up.

And while the highway centers were once known for offering free orange juice to weary travelers, state workers at the reopened facilities — on Interstate 10 near the Alabama border and Interstate 75 near the Georgia border — are providing free face masks as part of COVID-19 protocols.

Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young said Monday that more than 400,000 masks have been made available by the state Department of Health and the Division of Emergency Management’s State Emergency Response Team.

“They will be for our staff, and we will be making these available freely to the public throughout the summer if they desire to pick one up while they are visiting our state,” Young said during a Visit Florida Executive Committee conference call.

The welcome-center openings come after the state on June 5 ended a motorist checkpoint on I-10 near the Alabama border that was set up in late March as part of an effort to require people traveling from Louisiana, then a COVID-19 hotspot, to self-isolate if they entered Florida.

Still not open is a welcome center along Interstate 95 and a Visit Florida kiosk inside the Florida Capitol, which remains closed to walkup visitors.

-- News Service of Florida

WNBA Plans To Start Season In July In Bradenton

The WNBA has announced plans to play an abbreviated 22-game season in Florida beginning in late July.

The league is still finalizing a partnership with IMG Academy in Bradenton to play the games at the facility and possibly others nearby. Players would be housed at IMG and teams would hold training camps there as well.

The games would be played with no fans in attendance.

The WNBA would use its regular playoff format, with the top eight teams making the postseason and the first two rounds being single-elimination. The top two seeds would have byes until the semifinals.

The postseason would end in early October. A 36-game season that was supposed to start May 15 was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

-- Associated Press

Gas Prices Move Past $2 A Gallon

Gasoline prices in Florida now average more than $2 a gallon for the first time since March.

According to AAA Auto Club, one gallon of regular unleaded gas in Florida now costs $2.02, up 12 cents from last Monday and 25 cents higher than one month ago.

AAA spokesman W. D. Williams says there is a lot of uncertainty in the market right now, with the number of new COVID-19 cases increasing at the same time as most businesses are re-opening and people are again traveling.

“America’s economy is rebounding, and people are going back to work, which means they are resuming their normal daily commutes,” Williams said. “That means the demand for gasoline is increasing.”

Florida gas prices are still down more than 50 cents per gallon from one year ago.

-- News Service of Florida

Four TPD Officers Test Positive In Last Week

Four Tampa Police Department employees have tested positive for coronavirus in the last week.

According to a news release, the department now has seven positive cases, and all are currently under quarantine.

The department reports a school resource officer showed symptoms on June 2 and tested positive four days later. Three officers also showed symptoms last week and were placed on quarantine.

There are 46 department employees under quarantine.

-- Carl Lisciandrello

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