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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: Daily Cases Decline, UF Health Residents Test Positive After Party, 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, July 27, according to the Florida Department of Health:

432,747 — Positive Tests | 5,931— Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

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Florida's Daily Cases Dip Below 9,000 For The First Time In Almost Three Weeks

The daily number of people testing positive for the coronavirus dipped below 9,000 for the first time in 18 days Monday, according to state health officials.

Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported 432,747 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, an increase of 8,892 since Sunday. On July 9, the state reported 8,935 new cases.

In the greater Tampa Bay region, the state reported 1,224 more people tested positive in the 24-hour period since Sunday’s report. The area’s daily number of new cases has not been below 1,000 since the end of June.

The report showed 77 deaths in the state since Sunday’s report, bringing the statewide total deaths to 5,931. It was the second day in a row that statewide deaths totaled 77.

In the greater Tampa Bay region, health officials reported 14 deaths.  [Read more]

-- Lisa Peakes

After Private Party, At Least 17 UF Health Anesthesiologist Residents Contract Coronavirus

At least 17 anesthesiologist residents and a fellow at one of the premier university hospital systems in Florida contracted COVID-19 earlier this month after attending a private party together, according to hospital insiders and internal documents.

The outbreak at University of Florida Health occurred after a party at a private home, according to people familiar with the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they said UF Health prohibits employees from speaking to reporters without authorization.

After the party, on July 10, chairman of anesthesiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Timothy E. Morey, emailed staff to report that the hospital system’s anesthesiology department had 18 positive cases of the coronavirus who were recovering at home. [Read more]

-- Lauren E. Johnson, Fresh Take Florida

Florida's Top Regulator Looking At How To Open Bars Safely

Florida’s top business regulator said he planned to meet with bar owners to discuss how they can reopen their businesses again safely.

Halsey Beshears, secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said Saturday that he is planning to start setting up meetings with owners of bars and breweries across the state later this week to discuss how they can reopen without spreading the virus.

Beshears remarks come as the Department of Health reported 12,199 new cases. Florida now surpasses New York State in cases. DPBR's effort follows an open letter on the state of the craft beer industry written by the Florida Brewer's Guild. In it's letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Beshears, the guild asks for bars to be able to reopen for on-site consumption, saying businesses have been closed for more days than they've been open in 2020.

“The entire Florida Craft Brewing Industry is now in jeopardy,” the guild writes. “For the first time in recent history, the number of active breweries has actually decreased in number, and it is our fear that this trend will rapidly accelerate if we do not find a way to balance the health of our community with the economics of our industry.” [Read more]

-- Associated Press

Insurer Of Last Resort Extends Moratorium On Cancellations

Florida's insurer of last resort says it won't cancel any policies for the rest of the year because of the challenges facing policyholders in the middle of a pandemic.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation said it was extending a moratorium on policy cancellations until the end of the year.

The moratorium had been set to expire in mid-August. It was implemented in March, following an uptick in premiums no being paid, as coronavirus concerns started closing down businesses and putting property owners out of work.

Major national players write few homeowner policies in Florida, leaving the market to smaller companies and the state-created Citizens Property.

-- Associated Press

Universal Canceling Halloween Horror Nights

It's hard to scare the bejesus out of someone in a haunted house while socially distancing, which may explain the decision by Universal to cancel its Halloween Horror Nights this year at its U.S. theme parks.

The company said Friday it wouldn't be hosting the celebration of all things scary at its Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood so that it could focus on operating its theme parks for daytime guests under pandemic restrictions.

Halloween Horror Nights typically lasts more than a month starting in September. Last month, Walt Disney World canceled its annual after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom that typically begins in mid-August.

-- Associated Press