LISTEN LIVE

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.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU:

RESOURCES:

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

Florida Alabama I-10 Checkpoint Deactivated

Jun 6, 2020

People traveling into Florida using I-10 will no longer need to worry about checkpoints at the Florida Alabama state line.

Since late March, law enforcement officers have been using checkpoints to stop drivers coming into Florida from Alabama. The goal was to stop the spread of the coronavirus by limiting tourists coming from COVID-19 hotspots like New Orleans. The Florida Department of Transportation announced the deactivation of the checkpoint on I-10 as part of Florida’s Phase 2 of reopening.

Protests continue across Florida this weekend, calling for justice and an end to police brutality against people of color. Over the last week, many of the protests have been mostly peaceful.

Activists across the state are demanding change after the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others.

People took to the streets across Florida this week - from Pensacola to Key West - marching against police violence and for racial justice.

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

The Florida Department of Health report released Friday shows the Tampa Bay area is seeing the highest number of new coronavirus infections in a one-week period, with 1,099 positive tests.

Previously, the most new infections in a week in the region was 857; recorded the week ending April 3.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

The second phase of Florida’s plan to reopen the economy following coronavirus stay-at-home orders has begun. It comes about 24 hours after the state recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in Florida.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

The U.S economy rebounded with surprising strength last month as businesses began to reopen from the coronavirus lockdown. U.S. employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, and the unemployment rate fell to 13.3%.

Loading...

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

Coronavirus mask
iStock

People do not have a right to wear a mask to ward off the coronavirus if a business owner says they can't.

That's the decision of the Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group, after their members voted 5 to 3 Thursday to defeat a motion by County Commissioner Kimberly Overman to give people the right to wear a mask any time they want.

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

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 1,419 more people tested positive for coronavirus since Wednesday.

It’s the highest number of new cases recorded in a single day in Florida. On April 17, state health officials reported that 1,413 people tested positive.

ER Visits Drop 42 Percent Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Jun 4, 2020

The number of emergency room visits nationally between March 29 and April 25 decreased 42 percent compared to the previous year, but the number of visits for infectious-disease screenings or exposures increased four-fold, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed unemployment to its highest level since the Great Depression, but the pace of layoffs has been easing. And there are now some signs that the job market could slowly start to recover.

The Labor Department says another 1.87 million people filed claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down 249,000 from the previous week. While still very high by historical standards, the number has been declining steadily from a peak of 6.8 million the week ending March 28.

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

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

The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported an increase of 1,317 positive coronavirus tests.

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
WMFE/FACEBOOK

Bars, tattoo shops and movie theaters can partially reopen Friday in most of the state, as Gov. Ron DeSantis moves into the second phase of his plan to revive the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SHAWN MULCAHY / WFSU

Almost half the Floridians taking part in a survey by AAA Auto Club said they're less likely to evacuate for a hurricane this season because of fears of catching the coronavirus. More than a quarter of respondents said they'll stay in their homes even if officials warn them to leave.

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

A college campus with main college welcome center
Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is closing its satellite location in Lakeland.  

The private Catholic university is based in Pasco County and operates remote locations in seven states.  Lakeland is one of 17  facilities slated to close over the next few months.

Updated at 10:24 p.m. ET

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said Tuesday that it's "very unlikely" the state can permit a packed Republican National Convention in Charlotte to go forward this summer.

"The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity," Cooper wrote Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Host Matthew Peddie (on right half of the screenshot) speaks with Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel (on left half of the screenshot).
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

Legoland officially reopened Monday and it offered some clues about what theme park fans might expect in the post-pandemic world.

Reporter Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel visited the Winter Haven park and says it's a lot like other businesses that are trying to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

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

The Florida Department of Health reported Tuesday that 57,447 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 617 cases since Monday.

Florida’s largest teachers union wants to suspend state exams and evaluations of school and teacher performance as part of a larger plan for how to reopen schools during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

people on the uphill part of a high rollercoaster
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/Facebook

Busch Gardens in Tampa is opening back up on Thursday, June 11.

That’s a full month earlier than Disney World and about a week after Universal Studios plans to reopen.

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

Health experts worry COVID-19 cases could rise because of the reopening of restaurants and businesses, as well as large gatherings that are part of nationwide protests. Epidemiologist Perry Brown is a professor at Florida A&M University. He says a spike in positive coronavirus cases around the country is likely to happen.

“I would love to be wrong because the outcome would be the best outcome but again my fear is that some of these things that are happening now with both the relaxation as well as the mass gatherings will contribute to a second wave,” Brown said.

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

The Florida Department of Health reported Monday that 56,830 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 667 cases since Sunday.

Mother posing with toddler daughter who is looking through a camera lens
Sylwia Ok

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Sylwia Ok from Sarasota.

The professional photographer opened a new studio just four months before the pandemic temporarily closed her business.  In her own words, Sylwia shares her story of navigating a business during the stay-at-home order and the joy of being able to spend more time with her young daughter.

Elderly woman sitting in wheelchair
istock

In a stark reminder of the toll of COVID-19 on seniors and their caregivers, slightly more than half of the reported deaths of Floridians from the disease are now linked to long-term care facilities, state figures show.

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

The Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 56,163 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, an increase of 739 cases since Saturday.

Coronavirus Causes Detours In Getting Driver's Licenses, Including Tests On 'Closed Course'

May 31, 2020
man driving car
iStock

Florida’s newest drivers still need to take behind-the-wheel tests to get licenses, but they should expect some changes in the way tests are conducted, at least while the coronavirus is still around.

florida coronavirus dashboard
Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health reported Saturday that 55,424 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state; an increase of 927 cases since Friday.

Pages