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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: Record Week For Cases And Deaths, Contact Tracers Needed, 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 Friday, July 10, according to the Florida Department of Health:

244,151 — Positive Tests | 4,102 — Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

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Florida Records Most Daily Deaths

Florida wrapped up a historic week during the coronavirus pandemic Friday. State health officials recorded the highest number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths in a seven-day period.

According to figures from the Florida Department of Health, 65,557 people tested positive for the virus since July 3. The number tops last week’s previous record high of 55,634 new cases.

The state also reported a new one-day high for new hospitalizations for COVID-19.

There were also a record number of people testing positive in the greater Tampa Bay region this week. Health officials reported 12,480 new positive tests in the seven days since July 3; 12,295 new positive tests had been reported last week.

According to the Florida Department of Health's Friday report, 244,151 people have now tested positive for the coronavirus in the state - 11,433 new positive tests since Thursday. [Read more]

-- Lisa Peakes

Hillsborough To Expand 'Contact Tracing' Program

Hillsborough County's move to track down who has been around people who have contracted the coronavirus is set to ramp up in the next month.

The county's "contact tracing" program looks to get in touch with anyone who has been around people with the virus, and have them self-isolate to prevent its spread.

Douglas Holt of the Florida Department of Health told members of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group Thursday that they currently have about 83 people doing the tracing. He says they'll use federal funds to get 20 more people on board by this weekend and another 20 after that.

But Marissa Levine, a professor at USF's College of Public Health, told group members that a county the size of Hillsborough needs at least 400 contact tracers. [Read more]

-- Steve Newborn

FHSAA To Consider Delaying Seasons, Splitting State Into Regions

Practice for sports like football, swimming and volleyball is still scheduled to start on July 27.

But a task force within the Florida High School Athletic Association has recommended pushing the start date back.

Beau Johnson is a part of that group, and he's also a football coach and athletic director in the Florida Panhandle.

He recommended splitting the state into different regions. [Read more]

-- Daniel Rivero, WLRN

Brandon Assisted-Living Facility Disciplined Over COVID-19

State health care regulators on Wednesday issued an emergency order freezing admissions at a Brandon assisted living facility accused of not taking proper steps to control the spread of COVID-19.

The order, made public Thursday, alleges that D&F Associates, which operates as Alafia Village in Brandon, had not taken steps to isolate three residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 and did not have a proper infection-control protocols in place.

Attempts to contact the facility for comment were not immediately successful. [Read more]

-- News Service of Florida 

Florida Senator Rubio Working On Another Round PPP Funding  

Congress could approve more help for small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a major player in that effort.

The Miami Republican chairs the Senate Small Business Committee, and he was one of the architects of the original Paycheck Protection Program. 

In an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he's talking to Rubio about what another round of PPP funding would look like. [Read more]

-- Bradley George

HCA Hospitals Reduce Surgeries

One of the largest, private health systems in Florida is again restricting elective surgeries because of rising cases of the coronavirus.

HCA West Florida Division hospitals will delay certain inpatient surgeries and procedures in Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties to free up hospital beds and medical staff for COVID-19 patients.

This change does not affect hospital-based outpatient surgeries or procedures, nor those performed at HCA Healthcare Ambulatory Surgery Centers. [Read more]

-- Daylina Miller

Tampa To Assist Businesses

The city of Tampa plans to help about 400 small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase 3 of the city’s efforts will assist businesses that previously did not qualify for aid.

The businesses would receive $2,000 to help with expenses related to lost revenues.

Businesses can begin applying for this aid starting Friday on the city’s website.

-- Carl Lisciandrello

NBA Practices Begin At Disney

Full-scale practices inside the NBA bubble at the Disney complex have started.

The Orlando Magic became the first team to formally return to the floor. By the close of business, all 22 teams participating in the restart were to be checked into their hotel and beginning their isolation from the rest of the world for what will be several weeks at least.

And by Saturday, all teams should have practiced at least once.

-- Associated Press

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