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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

Federal CARES Act Money To Start To Flow To Counties

Jun 11, 2020

More than two months after Florida received the money, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the state will start to release nearly $1.3 billion in federal funds to cash-strapped counties struggling amid a recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Great Sports Freeze of 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak, appears to be thawing. Despite increases of COVID-19 cases in nearly half of the country, sports and leagues are marching ahead with plans to reopen.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY/FACEBOOK

Two more Florida theme parks were opening Thursday after being closed since mid-March to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, and SeaWorld Orlando are opening their gates with new restrictions.

Veteran Harry Stapleton (right) does a video chat with his sister Maria Mishkind and her husband John.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Like many long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March. The separation has been hard on veterans and their families.

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

Braving the mid-morning heat, a small group of protesters gathered at the Historic Capitol Wednesday, to tell Florida leadership the state’s unemployment system still needs fixing.

When Judy Tanzosch was furloughed from her job in March, she started trying to apply for benefits on the state’s CONNECT system.

“My situation, I applied on March 27, or I started to apply – and it took 45 days for me to be able to actually get the application completed in CONNECT, because the CONNECT system would consistently boot me out in various stages of the process,” Tanzosch told WFSU.

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

Florida health officials reported the highest daily increase in new coronavirus infections in the Tampa Bay area Wednesday.

Uber is seeing signs of recovery as cities, states and countries lift lockdown restrictions and businesses reopen, according to one of the ride-hailing company's top executives.

Commuters are the first people returning to Uber as businesses reopen, Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of mobility and business operations, told NPR in an interview.

"Morning and evening rush hour are the parts of the business that have come back first, and then you tend to see the social hours start to come back after that," he said.

After the coronavirus lockdowns forced it to shut down its 345 U.S. theaters, Texas-based Cinemark in April decided to do what a lot of companies have done: borrow money by selling bonds.

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

Bulls statues at Marshall Center on USF campus
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media

Because of COVID-19, the University of South Florida has been closed to all but essential personnel since March, with classes in the last half of the spring and all summer being held online.

That will soon change, as trustees approved a plan Tuesday that gradually reopens the school for the fall semester.

DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Many studies are showing the coronavirus has sickened and killed black Americans at a disproportionately high rate. One study found that the 22 percent of U.S. counties that are majority black account for nearly half of coronavirus cases - and almost 60 percent of deaths from Covid-19.

coronavirus testing
istock

The number of new COVID-19 cases has gone up in Florida in the past week, with the state and Tampa Bay area reporting some of their highest figures since the pandemic began. This comes a month after the state began reopening for business and recreation.

But data on new cases alone doesn't paint a complete picture about coronavirus in Florida.

A county government building with American flag.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County residents who have lost their jobs or significant income because of the coronavirus can apply for help to pay rent, mortgage and utilities bills.

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

State health officials reported an increase of 1,096 positive coronavirus tests Tuesday, bringing the state's total cases to 66,000.

Over the last week, Florida has seen rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Since last Tuesday, the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus totaled more than 1,000 each day. Saturday's total of 1,426 positive tests was the most since early April.

A similar rise in new cases is happening in other states, including North Carolina, Texas and California. It's leading to worries that as businesses reopen and stay-at-home orders are lifted, relaxed guidelines could lead to new outbreaks and even a second wave of infections.

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People with intellectual disabilities and autism who contract COVID-19 die at higher rates than the rest of the population, according to an analysis by NPR of numbers obtained from two states that collect data. They also contract the virus at a higher rate, according to research looking into group homes across the United States.

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

Most of Florida has already moved into phase two of Florida’s reopening plan for the novel coronavirus. In most of the state, people can now visit bars, movie theaters and casinos, along with beaches, gyms and restaurants. Of course, this comes with some caveats for social distancing and wearing masks.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization took time at its daily press conference to address another pressing issue: the wave of protests against police violence and racial injustice. The demonstrations began in the U.S. when George Floyd died on May 25 after a police officer had pressed a knee into his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while detaining him in Minneapolis.

The protests are now spreading around the world to Europe, Africa and other regions.

It may seem obvious, with double-digit unemployment and plunging economic output. But if there was any remaining doubt that the U.S. is in a recession, it's now been removed by the official scorekeepers at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The bureau's Business Cycle Dating Committee — the fat lady of economic opera — said the expansion peaked in February after a record 128 months, and we've been sliding into a pandemic-driven recession since.

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

Monday’s daily report from the state Department of Health shows an increase in 242 COVID-19 cases for the Tampa Bay area since Sunday; the highest single day report yet since the coronavirus pandemic began.

It was the second straight day that the region saw the largest number of people testing positive. Sunday’s increase in new cases was 221.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration wants to fast-track rules that expand the health-care services pharmacists are authorized to provide, a move that worries some members of a board that licenses physicians.

As the Keys ramp up its tourism economy, hotels are being encouraged to let guests know about COVID-19 tests with results in an hour at the local hospital, and local governments are modifying requirements for masks and temperature checks.

race cars on a track
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic brought a state of emergency to South Florida, a major sporting event will feature a live audience.

About a thousand members of the military and first responders will be allowed to watch a NASCAR race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway next Sunday. Their family members will also be able to attend.

Global COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 400,000

Jun 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed more than 400,000 lives worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

The university's Coronavirus Resource Center noted the grim milestone on Sunday. The United States — at more than 109,000 — accounts for more than a quarter of those deaths.

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

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

The first sign that something was wrong came with stomach pains. It was April 30, and 9-year-old Kyree McBride wasn't feeling well.

His mother, Tammie Hairston, thought it might have been something that he ate. But soon, young McBride was battling a 102-degree fever.

Worried he may have contracted the coronavirus, Hairston took her son to the hospital. "It was a quick in and out of the emergency room," she said. Doctors told her to take him home and monitor him.

Florida counties are pushing Gov. Ron DeSantis to release nearly $1.3 billion in federal money that has been sitting in state coffers for more than two months, as local officials struggle to keep their communities afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

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

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