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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

As the stock marketed plummeted Monday morning, House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, indicated that fears about the novel coronavirus could affect the ongoing negotiations about a new state budget.

cruise ship on the water
Princess Cruise Lines

A cruise ship held off Florida's coast while two crew members were tested for the new coronavirus has docked at a port.

Surging Health Care Worker Quarantines Raise Concerns As Coronavirus Spreads

Mar 9, 2020

As the U.S. battles to limit the spread of the highly contagious new coronavirus, the number of health care workers ordered to self-quarantine because of potential exposure to an infected patient is rising at an exponential pace. In Vacaville, California, alone, one case — the first documented instance of community transmission in the U.S. — left more than 200 hospital workers under quarantine and unable to work for weeks.

Early one morning last week, Cindy Ruiz joined the ranks of newly remote workers, now millions strong. The financial data firm where Ruiz works in sales closed its office after reports of coronavirus cases near San Mateo, Calif.

For many, the widespread embrace of remote work is a welcome change they've always wanted. They're reacting on social media the way kids celebrate snow days: No commutes! Flexible schedule! Home-cooked lunch!

cruise ship on the water
Princess Cruise Lines

Authorities say a cruise ship has been cleared to enter port after being held off Florida's east coast while awaiting testing of two crew members for the new coronavirus.

Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET

Oil prices and stock indexes were in freefall Sunday after Saudi Arabia announced a stunning discount in oil prices — of $6 to $8 per barrel — to its customers in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

As the novel coronavirus reached a global milestone, topping 100,000 cases across more than 100 countries over the weekend, Italy has imposed extraordinary restrictions on about a quarter of its population and limited public activities throughout the entire country.

Before she was the interim minister at the Central Christian Church of Austin, Janet Maykus was a chaplain in health care settings, a job that required training in infectious disease control. So when she heard reports of the coronavirus spreading in some U.S. communities, she knew it was time to overhaul religious practices at her church.

Florida Leaders Okay $25 Million For Coronavirus

Mar 8, 2020
Florida legislature
myfloridahouse.gov

House and Senate leaders announced Saturday they have agreed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s request for $25 million to help the state combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

coronavirus
Wikimedia Commons

A 66-year-old woman in Volusia County and a 61-year-old female in Okaloosa County have tested presumptively positive for the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, according to a press release issued by the Florida Department of Health Saturday evening.

Updated at 10:57 p.m. ET

These are no ordinary times for Congress.

There are fewer handshakes. Purell hand sanitizer dispensers are posted outside the Senate and House chambers. Staffers are preparing plans to work remotely if there's a sudden closure.

Welcome to a post-coronavirus world for the U.S. Capitol as it weighs developments from the spreading outbreak against its daily operations.

Man at podium, woman stands next to him as a number of people stand against the wall behind him
Julie Glenn / WGCU

A day after announcing the first two deaths on the East Coast attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to activate to Level 2.

Saturday’s order ensures the state has all the necessary resources engaged to respond to the outbreak, according to DeSantis.

The coronavirus funding bill signed into law by the president Friday puts much more money toward treating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 than his administration requested from Congress last week.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The city of Austin, Texas, has canceled South by Southwest, after a disaster was declared in response to the expanding coronavirus.

The annual event is a staple for the technology, music and film worlds; last year's edition drew more than 400,000 visitors to the city. The 2020 edition was slated to take place March 13 to 22.

In a statement Friday afternoon, SXSW said: "The city of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the city's directions."

CDC brochure talking about after-travel health precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two Florida seniors who had traveled abroad have become the state’s first residents to die from the novel coronavirus, the Florida Department of Health announced late Friday.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday stopped in at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency marshaling the response to coronavirus — a major political test for his administration.

The trip itself was almost derailed by coronavirus fears, and mixed signals about what was happening created an on-again, off-again drama that played out in front of television cameras. The chaotic impression clashed with the White House quest to show that the public health crisis is under control.

a doctor in a labcoat hands a patient a paper prescription.
iStock

Florida’s federally qualified health centers have teamed up with the Florida Department of Health to share resources and speed up access to care for low-income residents as new coronavirus cases pop up across the state.

The coronavirus is spreading in Florida, with the latest presumptive case reported in Santa Rosa County. Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a public health state of emergency.  On this week’s Roundup we discussed COVID-19 in the Sunshine State and also looked at how the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is shaping up in Florida now that early voting is underway.

COVID-19 microscope image
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An $8 billion federal package includes more than $27 million for Florida's response to the coronavirus.

A screenshot of a Florida Department of Health tweet, featuring a purple 3d computer rendition of the coronavirus.
Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health has set up a free, statewide hotline for residents to call with questions and concerns about the coronavirus.

Key West is a small town with about 25,000 residents — but it receives many times its population in visitors from all over the world. So the city is getting ready for possible cases of the illness caused by the coronavirus.

A global health technology conference that President Donald Trump was supposed to attend at the Orange County Convention Center has been canceled amid concerns over the coronavirus.

people wearing facemasks
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County officials have tested 11 people so far for the coronavirus who they say came into close contact with at least one of the two patients with COVID-19. 

Three doctors stand at a podium during a press conference.
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF Public Media

Fourteen patients have tested negative for coronavirus at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, officials said Thursday.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking special precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus nationally as it treats a patient who tested positive for COVID-19  in Palo Alto, California.

Anyone can catch COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly identified coronavirus. But certain populations appear to be more vulnerable to its effects.

Consider the 11 deaths so far in the United States — one in California and the rest in Washington state.

A basket filled with Starbucks cups
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Starbucks customers – at least for the time being – will no longer be allowed to use personal cups, as the company seeks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 11 people, after officials reported fatalities in California and Washington state on Wednesday. The most recent death is connected to a cruise ship that traveled from the U.S. to Mexico.

Officials in Placer County, Calif., announced that an elderly resident has become the first person to die from the illness in California. The patient, who was not identified, had underlying health conditions, according to the county.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that a fourth Florida resident has tested positive for the coronavirus but is self-quarantined in Washington state.

Updated on March 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET

President Trump is expected to sign an $8 billion emergency spending package into law Friday, responding to growing cases linked to the coronavirus illness domestically and abroad.

Visiting Olympia, Wash. on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence praised Congress' bipartisan response, and said some of the funds would be available for state and local response.

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