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Coronavirus

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.

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FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH:

If you think you might have coronavirus, call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 866-779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov

Florida's Universities Focused On Reopening While Grappling With Many Questions

1 hour ago
a young woman holds a sign thanking Corona while resting her foot on a bunch of toilet paper in front of a USF sign
USF Alumni Association/Twitter

As Florida universities face a mid-June deadline to solidify plans for safely reopening campuses in the fall, some school leaders continue to wrestle with questions.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

Monday marked the second straight day there were no deaths reported from COVID-19 complications in the Tampa Bay region.

The Florida Department of Health reported Monday that 51,746 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 879 cases since Sunday. There were 110 new infections reported in the Tampa Bay region.

Thousands of people who had planned to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C., this holiday weekend were forced to cancel this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. That includes veterans traveling with the nonprofit network Honor Flight, which recently suspended all trips at least until this fall.

"Our veterans that travel with us are still living, so their day is Veterans Day not Memorial Day," says Honor Flight CEO Meredith Rosenbeck. "But they go to honor their friends and comrades, those who have fallen."

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

President Trump is barring the entry of most non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil within the past 14 days, the White House announced on Sunday, citing concerns over Brazil's rapidly worsening coronavirus crisis.

"Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

New York is "decidedly in the reopening phase," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday, as the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic gave sports leagues, campgrounds and veterinarian offices the green light to start up again, with modifications.

Professional sports leagues in the state are now able to begin training camps, Cuomo said during his daily press conference, adding that having teams come back, even without spectators, would mark a "return to normalcy."

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health reported Sunday that 50,867 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 740 cases since Saturday. There were 131 new infections reported in the Tampa Bay region.

It's been months since most Americans have had a professional haircut. Salons have been shut down under stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In Los Angeles, the result has been a robust clandestine haircut scene.

Each week we answer pressing coronavirus questions. We'd like to hear what you're curious about. Email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

How big a risk is it to catch the virus through your eyes? Should people be wearing eye protection?

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

Houses of worship around the country on Friday got a presidential green light to open immediately.

"I call on governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," President Trump said in remarks at the White House. "These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united," he said. "The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue and to their mosque."

One out of every three applications for unemployment in Florida has been deemed ineligible to get relief. Are the people applying for the support to blame, or is the trouble with the state’s unemployment system?

It has been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what's safe? We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings to a day at the pool to sharing a vacation house with another household.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

The Florida Department of Health reported Saturday that 50,127 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 676 cases since Friday. There were 108 new infections reported in the Tampa Bay region.

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
WFSU

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday called a childhood illness tied to COVID-19 extremely rare, despite reports of at least eight confirmed cases in Florida.

The summer travel season is kicking off this year with more uncertainty than any time in recent memory. The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to cancel vacation and travel plans. Airlines have lost billions of dollars in revenue, flying nearly empty planes and canceling tens of thousands of flights.

Toilet paper has been an issue since the start of the pandemic, but now toilets themselves are the concern. As stay-at-home restrictions are lifting, many are feeling a long pent-up urge to go out, but what's stopping some is concern about their urge to go while they're out.

As in, use the bathroom.

Loath to risk the germs in a public restroom, if they can even find one that's open, many are limiting their outings while others are getting creative.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that Florida’s unemployment rate in April was 12.9%, higher than during the Great Recession. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans make up 22 percent of COVID-19 related deaths in Florida, while only representing 18 percent of the population. An analysis done by scholars from Yale reveals Latino’s are nearly twice as likely to die of the virus as white people. Legislators spoke to WFSU about the health disparities, along with a health professional.

iStock

Hillsborough is among the latest counties to be approved to open short-term vacation rentals in Florida.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health reported Friday that 49,451 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 776 cases since Thursday. There were 81 new infections reported in the Tampa Bay region.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday that state governors should allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to reopen immediately.

In brief comments at the White House, Trump said houses of worship are "essential places that provide essential services." Churches have faced restrictions for gatherings and ceremonies as public health officials worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some have chafed at the restrictions.

Youth sports and summer camps will be free to continue operations, after a Friday morning announcement from Gov. DeSantis lifting all restrictions on the activities effective immediately. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed "cautious optimism" Friday about the initial results from a coronavirus vaccine trial — which were widely celebrated this week — and said it remains "conceivable" that a vaccine for the deadly pathogen could be available by the end of the year.

Small flags beside graves at Bay Pines National Cemetery
Jim Robinson / Flickr

The coronavirus pandemic is putting a damper on the parades and military gatherings that would typically take place on Memorial Day. But groups in the Tampa Bay area are adapting.


Gov. Ron DeSantis
The Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis is updating the media on the coronavirus outbreak in Florida.

Questions Swirl Around Coronavirus-Related Illness In Florida Children

May 22, 2020

Florida has a growing number of children with a COVID-19 related illness, but how long it has been attacking children and the number of pediatric patients who have been treated remain a mystery.

It appears theme parks will soon be welcoming guests in Florida. Local officials approved reopening plans for Legoland in Winter Haven and the Universal theme parks in Orlando.

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