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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. Send us your comments and questions about our coverage, and what matters most to you.

This map shows the current coronavirus cases and deaths in Florida.

Sign up for our newsletter to get daily updates and analysis from our team and NPR, and go to our Coronavirus Q&A to submit your questions.

The Florida Department of Health is providing daily updates on the number of people infected in the state. It also is providing a list of things you need to know.

Here's how you can help your children fight boredom while they're not in school.

Check out the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention website for updates and a national map. 

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

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

Updated at 9:59 p.m. ET

While tens of millions of U.S. households continue to fill out 2020 census forms on their own, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Census Bureau to suspend field operations for the once-a-decade head count for two more weeks until April 15.

With coronavirus cases continuing to climb and hospitals facing the prospect of having to decide how to allocate limited staff and resources, the Department of Health and Human Services is reminding states and health care providers that civil rights laws still apply in a pandemic.

States are preparing for a situation when there's not enough care to go around by issuing "crisis of care" standards.

But disability groups are worried that those standards will allow rationing decisions that exclude the elderly or people with disabilities.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday announced the creation of an Interstate 95 checkpoint on Florida's northern border to screen motorists traveling from the New York City area, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A graphic showing 3,763 cases of coronavirus
Florida Department of Health

Three more people in Pinellas County have died from coronavirus, bringing the county’s total death toll so far to four, as the state of Florida reported a new record leap in coronavirus cases – 863 more in a day -- officials said Saturday.

iStock

Hillsborough County is among the areas in Florida being hardest hit with coronavirus that will receive a shipment of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that is being touted by some as a possible treatment for the symptoms of coronavirus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
The Florida Channel

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

Updated at 10:32 p.m. ET

After broaching the possibility of quarantining New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, President Trump backtracked late Saturday, saying a "quarantine will not be necessary."

Earlier in the day, the president said he was "looking at" quarantining New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut because they had developed as "hot spots" of the coronavirus outbreak.

Pasco Prison Employee Among 7 To Test Positive For Coronavirus

18 hours ago
Zephyrhills Correctional Institution
GOOGLE

Seven Florida Department of Corrections employees who work at separate facilities across the state,  including one in Pasco County, have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, agency officials said late Friday.

Gun sales across the country are surging and in Florida, there have been several record-setting days in the past few weeks. Tallahassee-based Red Hills Arms is struggling to keep up with demand and its owners say as is the case with other gun stores, it's seeing a boom in first-time buyers.

Screen grab of Creative Pinellas website
CreativePinellas.org

Museums, educational centers, galleries and other cultural centers in Florida are closed to visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But many are offering online art and science programs to engage people while they keep appropriate social distance. 

As some U.S. state leaders have issued shelter-in-place orders statewide, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has pushed the decision down to local governments, some of which are doing so. DeSantis is facing partisan pressure to lock the state down.

Major League Baseball players are bracing for a 2020 that might not see a single game played.

Another possibility forced by the coronavirus outbreak is that the baseball season will move down the calendar.

On Friday, players and the Major League Baseball owners ratified a deal fairly quickly and with both sides taking concessions on economic issues in the face of the pandemic complicating and possibly axing this year's season.

Joe Pinero's after-work routine has changed recently.

"I strip outside of my door, take basically all my clothes off and walk in naked and just get directly into a shower when I do come into the house," Pinero said.

But he doesn't think his neighbors in Hoboken, N.J., mind too much, because they know he works as an emergency room doctor.

"If anyone has seen me naked, I'm sorry. But it's probably gonna happen again," he said with a laugh.

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

Florida saw 714 new people test positive for COVID-19 on Friday, the largest daily increase since the coronavirus outbreak began in the state.

Closed sign at Upper Tampa Bay Park
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Hillsborough County has followed its “shelter-at-home” vote with a decision to close all county parks and preserves are now closed to contain coronavirus outbreak.

A bag of Covid-19 testing supplies
Manatee County Department of Health

Sarasota County has opened a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site but like others locations across the region, resources are very limited.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday just hours after the House approved it amidst the deepening crisis over the pandemic.

"This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers and businesses. And that's what this is all about," Trump said at a signing ceremony in the Oval Office.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
The Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Friday that anyone arriving in the state from Louisiana must self-quarantine like those arriving from New York already must because of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis said he is expanding his quarantine order to include Louisiana after officials in the lightly hit Panhandle worried that people will flee New Orleans as the number of positive tests there climb.

The Florida Highway Patrol and sheriff's offices will set up checkpoints to screen cars arriving from Louisiana, DeSantis said.

 

Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted pressure to shut down the state. Critics say he’s being too timid in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

To contain the spread of the coronavirus in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis has issued orders that would have seemed inconceivable just a few weeks ago. He's closed Colorado's schools, bars, the ski industry and on Thursday orderd most people to stay home.

It's an exercise of executive authority that has no precedent in recent history, and it has put the 44-year-old Democrat's leadership style in the spotlight.

Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities are now screening patients, employees, and visitors for coronavirus. But some are questioning the agency's responce to the pandemic.

students in university lecture hall
iStock

As students begin to adjust to a new normal in the world of COVID-19, many have begun to experience difficulties regarding their financial wellbeing.

In response to this, the University of South Florida has created a fund to help provide financial relief to these students.

Up until now the only way for most people to get tested for COVID-19 is if you show clear symptoms and have a referral from a medical professional. Either that, or by being a politician, an NBA player or a celebrity.

But a new study done in coordination with the University of Miami and Miami-Dade County plans to change that in a way researchers hope will better help tackle the outbreak.

empty store shelves
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

The COVID-19 pandemic has filled homes across the globe but has emptied shelves at supermarkets.

Residents looking to stock up on essentials have left stores trying to catch up with the demand.

CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Pinellas County businesses are being warned to follow recommendations designed to reduce the spread of coronavirus or they will be forced to close.

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

3-26 Florida COVID-19 Statistics from the Department Of Health
Florida Department of Health

For the second straight day, over 500 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19.

Health officials are reporting 2,484 people in Florida have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

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