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Latest On Coronavirus: New Hillsborough Daily High, Jail Cases Continue To Rise, And More

Jun 15, 2020

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:

77,326 — Positive Tests | 2,938— Deaths

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Hillsborough Cases Hit New Single-Day High

The Florida Department of Health reported 77,326 coronavirus positive tests statewide Monday; an increase of 1,758 in 24 hours.

The Tampa Bay area had 490 new positive tests since Sunday. It’s the second-highest regional daily increase in cases recorded by the state since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 492 new cases were reported Saturday.

Hillsborough County reported its largest daily increase with 213 new cases.

Pinellas County recorded 154 positive tests, its second-highest daily increase. 162 new cases were reported Saturday. Pasco County also saw the second-highest daily increase with 22 new cases. It's high is 23 on May 2.

Statewide, there have been 2,938 deaths; an increase of seven since Sunday. It was the second straight day the state reported no deaths in the Tampa Bay region. [Read more]

-- Lisa Peakes

Jail Cases Rise, Another Death Reported

As COVID-19 continues to spread across Florida’s prison system, 57 new inmate cases and a fatality were logged over the weekend, the state Department of Corrections reported.

Corrections officials reported Sunday that a 19th inmate had died from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. The inmate has not been identified, and the Florida Department of Health did not immediately release the name of the correctional facility where the prisoner was housed.

Inmate fatalities have been confirmed at eight prisons. The facilities include Blackwater River Correctional Facility, with seven deaths; Sumter Correctional Institution, with three deaths; and Everglades Correctional Institution, with two deaths.

The number of positive tests among the inmates climbed to 1,665 on Monday, a jump from the 1,608 cases reported Friday.

-- News Service of Florida

Cruise Workers Trapped At Sea

More than 40,000 cruise ship workers are still stuck at sea because of concerns about the coronavirus.

The Miami Herald reports that at least 42,000 workers remain trapped on cruise ships without paychecks. Some are still suffering from COVID-19 three months after the industry shut down.

Cruise lines stopped sailing in mid-March after several high-profile outbreaks at sea.

More than 600 people fell ill aboard Carnival Corp.’s Diamond Princess while it was quarantined off the coast of Japan. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has prohibited cruises in U.S. waters through July 24.

Some cruise ship workers have started being repatriated to their home countries.

-- Associated Press

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

MLS Player Tests Positive Weeks Before Orlando Tournament

A player for Major League Soccer has tested positive for coronavirus, just three weeks before a tournament is scheduled to be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando.

In a statement Saturday, D.C. United said the unnamed player has mild symptoms and has not been hospitalized.

“Throughout individual player workouts and small group training sessions, D.C. United adhered to proper physical distancing and sanitization protocols, and no other players or staff have tested positive or presented symptoms,” it read. [Read more]

-- Danielle Prieur, WMFE

Fired Florida Data Scientist Launches A Coronavirus Dashboard Of Her Own

Rebekah Jones was fired last month from her job at the Florida Department of Health, where she helped create a data portal about the state's COVID-19 cases. Now, she has created a dashboard of her own.

In some ways, Jones' new portal for Florida coronavirus data looks a lot like the state health department's. But it has a few key differences that reflect just how contentious coronavirus data has become amid politicized arguments about whether it's safe for states to reopen.

Case in point: Jones' dashboard has a map that shows which Florida counties are ready for the next phase of reopening. By her calculations, only two of the state's 67 counties at the moment meet the state's criteria for further easing restrictions.

Jones says she was originally tasked with building essentially the same type of dashboard for the health department's website in her role as a geographic information system manager — until it became clear what the results would show.

-- Laurel Wamsley, NPR