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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

Leon County COVID-19 Information Portal

Calling it a “radical infringement” of constitutional rights, the head of the Republican Party in Leon County teamed with a conservative state representative Thursday to challenge a local ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Children in a classroom
iStock

Florida school districts have begun to release their plans to bring students back to school in August amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Florida, as well as the Tampa Bay area, posted record high daily increases in new cases of COVID-19.  

WUSF asked about your thoughts on this issue: How Should Florida Schools Proceed With Reopening In The Fall? Here are some of your responses.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wearing a face mask
ALYSIA CRUZ/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday the state will be moving forward carefully and encouraged Floridians to continue following social distancing guidelines while coronavirus cases spike.

WFSU

Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a former used-car salesman and restaurant employee who challenged the authority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue coronavirus-related shutdown orders.

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

A recent poll from Florida Atlantic University finds that the coronavirus pandemic has not significantly changed the way Floridians feel about climate change.

Millions of Americans have probably had the coronavirus without knowing it.

That's the conclusion of officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many other experts.

"Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections," Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, said during a call with reporters Thursday.

The way hospitals in Florida update their available intensive care unit beds to the state may change. The department wants hospitals to report only the number of COVID positive patients receiving ICU level of care - and not every single COVID patient in ICU. 

Before, hospitals would report the "current number of COVID positive patients admitted into ICU beds," according to an email from Florida's Department of Health to WLRN.

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

Another 5,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida, the state health department reported on Thursday.

Lee Student Dies from COVID-19

Jun 25, 2020

A student of Cypress Lake High School in Lee County died Tuesday from COVID-19 complications.

The News-Press reports, 17-year-old Carsyn Davis was admitted to the Children's Hospital on Friday and transfered to the ICU with COVID-19 two days later, on her 17th birthday.

On Monday, Davis was airlifted to another hospital for additional cardiac and respiratory support. She died at 1:06 p.m. Tuesday.

Clay County’s recently reported COVID-19 case numbers have been fluctuating in the state’s online database. 

Whether it's online-only consultations, closed pharmacies or having to wonder whether going into an office is safe, the coronavirus has upended access to health care. And it has presented particular challenges for women and reproductive health.

Kathy Castor profile photo
Florida House of Representatives

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Wednesday renewed her demand that Gov. Ron DeSantis release his administration’s COVID-19 testing and tracing plan for 2020, filing a broad public records request with the state.

Florida’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge, making it one of the new hotspots in the country. In testimony to Congress this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there’s been a disturbing surge in new COVID cases in Arizona, Texas and Florida.

South Florida remains the epicenter for the pandemic accounting for more than 50 percent of total cases statewide. '

Tampa Bay Comic Con will not be held next month.

Organizers announced the cancellation in a Facebook post on Wednesday, citing city officials' concerns about holding such a wide-scale gathering with the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

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 10:47 p.m. ET

As the number of new coronavirus cases surges each day in many parts of the country, some states are hitting pause on their plans to reopen.

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
iStock

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has some families opting to move elderly parents out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

A chart of the three models with a photo of a man in the bottom left corner.
Hillsborough County Public Schools

As Hillsborough County students prepare for school in August, the district is working on what that return will look like.

During a school board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis presented three models for reopening, each linked to different levels of spread of the disease.

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

According to the Florida Department of Health's Wednesday report, 109,014 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state - an increase of 5,511 positive tests since Tuesday and another record daily high.

woman wearing mask wiping a table
istock

With more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19 in Florida, governments across the state are looking at ways to stem the increase.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will require visitors coming from other states with significant coronavirus cases to quarantine for a two-week period upon arrival.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the travel advisory would go into effect midnight Thursday. He was joined by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy at a midday press briefing.

AHCA Secretary Defends ICU Capability, Reporting Changes

Jun 24, 2020
AHCA secretary Mary Mayhew
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida has more intensive-care unit capability than a state website indicates, a top health-care regulator said Tuesday, as the DeSantis administration defended a decision to change how hospitals report available ICU beds to the state.

The day of her 38th birthday in April, Jane Castro decided it was time to finally find out if she’d contracted COVID-19 during a January trip to Arizona State University.

State tourism agency Visit Florida is putting together a game plan for attracting tourists in the coming year. It held a conference call Tuesday to discuss its marketing strategy through 2021.

Staci Mellman is Visit Florida’s chief marketing officer.

“After the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Florida, which was at the beginning of March, air travel pretty much vanished, and first-quarter visitation fell an estimated 10.7 percent compared to Q1 of 2019,” Mellman said.

Florida business regulators shut down a web portal launched to make it easier for the public to file complaints about businesses that violate COVID-19 guidelines last month, just as cases statewide started to surge.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation created the online form in mid March, but removed it May 29.

Major League Baseball and its Players Association have reached an agreement to play a shortened season this year. The MLB Players Association made the announcement first via tweet.

In a subsequent news release, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said players will report to spring training on July 1 and the regular season is to begin either on July 23 or 24. Instead of the typical 162-game regular season, teams will play just 60 games.

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

The economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic is stifling a federal program meant to spur new investment in low-income neighborhoods, according to a new survey from an advocacy group that backs the initiative.

street in downtown Clearwater
myclearwater.com

The city of Clearwater plans to resume terminating utility services for nonpayment starting July 1. It will also restart charging fines for late payments on that day.

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