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.




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

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

According to the Florida Department of Health's Monday report, almost half of the statewide deaths were in the Tampa Bay area.

Of the 22 deaths in the region, eight were in Hillsborough County and nine were in Manatee County; daily high numbers for each county since the pandemic began.

Research is indicating that sewage can help reveal trends in pandemic virus outbreaks, and health officials are taking note.

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay-at-home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

children sit at desks spaces six feet apart and wear blue medical masks
Hernando County School District

In June, Governor Ron DeSantis called for K-12 schools to reopen in full this fall, but left it up to individual school boards to figure out how to do that.

In the space of a month, the landscape has changed dramatically. Coronavirus cases in Florida are surging to new heights. But that hasn’t yet stopped local school districts from rolling out draft guidance for reopening, offering a blend of in-person instruction and virtual learning options.

Janet Eckelman sculpture at the Pier District in St. Petersburg

It’s taken two years and held up by the coronavirus pandemic, but St. Petersburg residents will finally get their first official glimpse of the revitalized Pier District on the city’s waterfront.

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

Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez
Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Facebook Page

Hillsborough County’s property appraiser is proposing tax relief options for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fresh off a Caribbean cruise in early March, John Campbell developed a cough and fever of 104 degrees. He went to his primary care physician and got a flu test, which came up negative.

Then things got strange. Campbell says the doctor then turned to him and said, "I've called the ER next door, and you need to go there. This is a matter of public health. They're expecting you."

It was March 3, and no one had an inkling yet of just how bad the COVID-19 pandemic would become in the United States.

A woman serves a customer in a bar
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

When Gov. Ron DeSantis was making the case to reopen Florida at the end of April, he pointed to data about the coronavirus that was trending in the right direction. 

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

Florida surpassed the 200,000 mark of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday as Pinellas County reported 14 coronavirus-related deaths – the highest one-day amount for the county since the pandemic began.

Exercise is good for physical and mental health, but with coronavirus cases surging across the country, exercising indoors with other people could increase your chance of infection. So, as gyms reopen across the country, here are some things to consider before heading for your workout.

Assess your own risk

It starts with you, says Dr. Saadia Griffith-Howard, an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente.

In a Fourth of July speech aimed at commemorating the military on Saturday, President Trump hit on familiar divisive themes, condemning the "radical left" and the media, which he accused of "slander."

During the second annual Salute to America event held on the South Lawn of the White House, the president drew a comparison between historical American wartime victories and stopping the "radical left."

President Trump signed legislation Saturday extending the deadline for small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, enacted in the weeks following the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The original deadline to apply for the PPP was this past Tuesday night. But $130 billion still remained in the fund, out of $660 billion allocated. Both houses of Congress approved the extension unanimously earlier this week. With Trump's signature Saturday, businesses will now have until Aug. 8 to apply for the assistance.

open-air baseball stadium

As professional sports like Major League Baseball, the NBA, and Major League Soccer prepare to return to action in Florida, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to reverberate.

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

The Florida Department of Health announced another one-day record number of new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The state reported that 11,458 more Florida residents tested positive in the most recent 24-hour reporting period, bringing the total number of cases to 190,052.

Major League Baseball is cancelling the 2020 All-Star game over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and restricting on mass gatherings, the league says.

Audrey just turned 18 and relishes crossing into adulthood: She voted for the first time this year, graduated high school and is college-bound next month. The honors student typically wakes up "a bundle of nerves," she says, which had fueled her work volunteering, playing varsity sports and leading student government.

But for years, she also struggled with anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder — all of which drove her to work harder.

BayCare Health System is cutting back on non-emergency surgeries in its Pinellas County hospitals to ensure there is capacity for a growing number of severely-ill COVID-19 patients.

screenshot of Florida Department of Health dashboard for July 3.
Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health announced another 9,488 COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 178,594.

Players in an NBA basketball game.
Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

The coronavirus numbers are rising in Florida and across the NBA.

Across the United States the coronavirus is once again on the march. On Wednesday alone there were nearly 50,000 new cases — a record. The case counts for each state suggest the disease is mainly spreading in a band stretching from Florida across much of the southernmost states and westward to California, with Idaho and Iowa also in trouble.

But when you use tools to drill down to more local data, the picture gets more complicated — and even more concerning. Here are five takeaways:

It may be time for a statewide lockdown in Arizona and Florida

VP Mike Pence wearing a mask
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday sidestepped questions about whether he would recommend that vulnerable people not attend the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month if COVID-19 cases in Florida continue to surge.

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Vice President Mike Pence was in Tampa Thursday for a meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, where the pair discussed the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases continued to skyrocket.

So you want to wear a face mask? Good call.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel well, can help curb the spread of the coronavirus — since people can spread the virus even without showing symptoms. That's the main reason to wear a mask: to protect other people from you.

Annette Taddeo listening during a meeting

Senate Democrats called out state Republican leaders Wednesday amid increasing cases of the coronavirus, including questioning Gov. Ron DeSantis for maintaining Florida is “not going back” on its reopening.

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

Florida set a new milestone in the number of positive coronavirus cases reported in a 24-hour period.

The Florida Department of Health reported Thursday that 10,109 people tested positive for the coronavirus in a 24-hour period, eclipsing the previous high of 9,585 reported on June 27.

DeSantis Downplays Beach Concern Ahead Of July Fourth

Jul 2, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’s more concerned about people having parties indoors than going to the beach for July Fourth weekend.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Employers added a record 4.8 million jobs last month, as the U.S. economy continued to slowly bounce back from a deep and painful coronavirus recession. The unemployment rate dipped to 11.1%.

Job growth accelerated from May, when revised figures show employers added 2.7 million jobs.

Mike Pence profile photo

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Tampa on Thursday to discuss the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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