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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.

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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

The Trump administration has announced a series of measures intended to speed testing for the coronavirus disease COVID-19: a new federal coordinator to oversee testing, funding for two companies developing rapid tests and a hotline for labs to call to get help finding needed supplies.

The U.S. government has been sharply criticized for its slow response to the virus, particularly when it comes to testing. Only this week has testing become more widely available in the U.S., and kits remain in limited supply.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. EDT

One way employers are hoping to prevent the spread of coronavirus and its toll on their workforce is through telecommuting. Companies from Apple to The Washington Post are giving their employees the option to work from home.

The nation's largest employer is sending a more mixed message.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of American life - including military life.

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest in a string of high-profile individuals to become infected with the potentially deadly pathogen.

In a statement on Thursday, the office of the prime minister said Grégoire Trudeau had begun experiencing a low-grade fever and other mild flu-like symptoms the previous day and was subsequently tested.

Posted at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12

One of the industries hit hardest by the coronavirus is travel. And the Florida Keys — while having no confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon — are already feeling the effects.

Tips for preventing coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The list of new positive cases of coronavirus in Florida grew by 16 late Thursday, bringing the total in state to 42, according to Florida Department of Health.

Nine of the new cases have been connected to travel, including two men who were part of a Nile River cruise and tour in Egypt. One is a case stemming from Port Everglades, and the root of infection for the remaining seven is unclear, the department said in a statement.

Disney World, Universal Orlando Parks Closed Through March Beginning this Sunday

Mar 12, 2020
Jayme McColgan @jayme

Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort will be closed the rest of the month starting March 15. The theme parks join a growing list of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tampa skyline, and Tampa Convention Center
iStock

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

Dr. Douglas Holt with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough briefs county commissioners and local mayors on the coronavirus.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County commissioners declared a local state of emergency for coronavirus, postponed area events -- but not WrestleMania -- and raised concerns about the lack of widespread testing during an emergency policy meeting Thursday.


Senator Rick Scott
Office of Senator Rick Scott

After a meeting in Miami with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Monday, Senator Rick Scott has decided to self-quarantine.

He was alerted by the Brazilian Embassy Thursday that Bolsonaro's communications director had tested positive for coronavirus.

Nothing lasts forever — not even a stock market that keeps going up, up and up.

This week, just days after its 11-year anniversary, investors unceremoniously said goodbye to the longest-running bull market in history.

Then the bears took over.

Updated at 6:08 p.m. ET

The NCAA has announced that it is canceling its Division I men's and women's college basketball tournaments. This year, there will be no March Madness.

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," the NCAA said in a statement Thursday.

Yuengling Center
Jonah Hinebaugh / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida, along with the rest of the American Athletic Conference, is suspending all spring sports competitions until further notice.

Earlier Thursday, USF said it would be closing all future home sports competitions to fans because of the coronavirus.

It also comes as the NCAA cancelled both its Division I men's and women's college basketball tournaments.

coronavirus
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Another case of COVID-19 has been added to Florida's total.

In a press conference on Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami will be among the first hospitals in the state to receive new commercial test kits for COVID-19.

CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Spring training has been suspended and the start of Major League Baseball’s Opening Day will be delayed by at least two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Jane Castor and public health officals at a public press conference
City of Tampa

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is urging residents to follow simple precautions to prevent from getting COVID-19 because of how quickly it can spread.

The mayor held a press conference Thursday morning with health care representatives to address how they’re preparing for the disease and how people can protect themselves.

 

“We know that the emphasis on this particular virus is the ease with which it is spread,” said Castor. “That is our concern.”

Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media

The National Hockey League on Thursday announced it was pausing its 2019-20 season due to concerns about coronavirus spread.

Priest pours wine into a chalice
WikiCommons

As the spread of coronavirus worsens, faith leaders across Florida are taking steps to keep followers safe and that includes making changes to worship services.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg – which has 74 parishes in the region — has issued new directives in response to the virus.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, through a series of tweets, announced that the St. Petersburg Grand Prix has canceled general attendance. 

Dr. Andrew Myers with USF Health and Tampa General Hospital
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

As more cases of the coronavirus are found in Florida, there are questions about whether it is being spread from person to person within the community.

GOOGLE

Farnell Middle School in Tampa will be closed for the next two days leading up to spring break after an individual was exposed to coronavirus.

Local public schools are preparing for online learning in case they have to close due to coronavirus.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET Thursday

The NBA suspended its season Wednesday after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for the coronavirus. The team announced Thursday that after testing the entire traveling team in follow-up, a second player has tested positive.

coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Florida Department of Health has announced six new cases of coronavirus, including a Broward County man who attended a recent conference in Tampa and a tourist visiting for Bike Week.

Updated at 12:34 a.m. ET Thursday

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States, beginning on Friday at midnight, in a bid "to keep new cases" of coronavirus "from entering our shores."

The restrictions, he said late Wednesday, do not apply to travelers from the United Kingdom.

CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

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

Man stands at a podium with people behind him while adressing reporters
Thomas Iacobucci / WUSF Public Media

All Florida public universities, including the University of South Florida, will transition to online course instruction to lessen the risk of coronavirus.

The Florida Board of Governors announced the change will take place “as soon as possible.” At USF, classes will meet as scheduled through Friday. Then, students go on spring break before returning to a lot of changes.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

The World Health Organization has formally declared the coronavirus a pandemic. The move comes as higher education officials have directed universities prepare to suspend in-person classes and shift toward online learning. As fears of contagion spread, Governor Ron DeSantis is now limiting access to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media

NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament games, including those next week at Amalie Arena, will not be played in front of fans due to concerns over coronavirus.

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