Tracking coronavirus: Florida health officials report 3,269 new cases and 135 more deaths
ORLANDO, Fla. - Below is a log of the day's events as it relates to the global coronavirus pandemic.
4:00 p.m. -- The City of Orlando announced an additional, free mobile COVID-19 drive-thru and pedestrian-accessible testing site starting next week. The site will operate on Wednesday, like the previous mobile testing sites open in Orlando. Symptoms are not required to be tested but appointments are and can be made HERE.
1:00 p.m. -- Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion in Tampa.
10:45 a.m. -- The Florida Department of Health reported 3,269 new cases and 135 more deaths since Wednesday morning. The statewide case total since the start of the pandemic is now at 611,991, resulting in 10,868 deaths. This is the 12th straight day in a row that cases have been reported under 5,000.
9:26 a.m. -- Just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the coronavirus outbreak continues to threaten jobs even as the housing market, auto sales and other segments of the economy rebound from a springtime collapse.
7:33 a.m. -- Gov. Ron DeSantis backed allowing more customers at major theme parks in Orlando as he and park officials gave high marks Wednesday to coronavirus safety measures. Details HERE.
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6:09 a.m. -- Stetson University in DeLand and the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando are warning students that large gatherings could lead to suspension from the schools. Read more HERE.
4:52 a.m. -- A task force appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis will recommend that nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida begin allowing visitors after more than five months of keeping elderly residents isolated from loved ones.
The group agreed on recommendations Wednesday that come with a long set of rules and wide leeway for wary nursing homes on how to implement them. Critics expressed concern over what will likely be a patchwork approach that varies greatly among facilities statewide.
The recommendations, which will be finalized in the coming days before they are formally presented to DeSantis for his approval.
4:02 a.m. -- The Florida Department of Health reported 3,220 new cases and 153 more deaths since Tuesday morning. The statewide case total since the start of the pandemic is now at 608,722, resulting in 10,733 deaths. This is the 11th straight day in a row that cases have been reported under 5,000. However, it also broke a 3-day streak of reporting under 3,000 new cases a day.
RELATED: Interactive map of COVID-19 cases across Florida
If you are having trouble seeing the map or using it (especially on a mobile device), click here to load in a new window.
Phase two of Florida's reopening is ongoing. The following is in effect:
- The 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery' plan allows for restaurants to operate with 50 percent indoor seating capacity and full capacity outdoors with appropriate social distancing. Restaurants can also allow for bar-top seating.
- Bars, pubs, and taverns were originally allowed to operate with similar guidelines but have since been ordered to shut down, as the state has put a temporary ban on liquor sales at bars because of a rise in cases over the summer. Leaders in the industry are working to come to an agreement with the state on reopening.
- Retail stores can currently operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols. Many chains have included social distancing signage, sanitizing stations, and limited hours in their new safety measures.
- Amusement parks have reopened in Florida as well, all with limited capacity and enhanced safety measures to protect both park guests and employees.
- Gyms can operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization.
- Movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, and arcades can operate at 50 percent capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols, according to the 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery' plan.
- Barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons may operate with appropriate safety protocols.
- Visitors are still not allowed at long-term care facilities in Florida but the Governor is working to allow this. He has assembled a task force to determine the best way to safely go about allowing visitors.
- The 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery' plan also allows for professional sports venues to open and continue operating for games, events, competitions, and training.
- Both museums and libraries can operate at full capacity, the 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery' plan states.
- Elective surgeries can be conducted at hospitals with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety protocols, the plan states.
Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward County are still in phase one of Florida's reopening plan. However, a recent report from the Sun-Sentinel stated that the area may soon enter phase two because of the decline in cases. This will allow for higher capacity limits at businesses and restaurants can offer bar-top service. It will also serve as an important benchmark for resuming in-person learning at schools.
RELATED: Here are the positive COVID-19 cases, those in quarantine in each school district across Central Florida
Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. Others can then contract the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then their eyes, nose or mouth.
As stated before, symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They may show in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure, the Florida Department of Health says. Most people recover from COVID-19 without special treatment, but the elderly and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness.
If you display coronavirus symptoms, you should contact a local health organization and make them aware of your condition prior to arrival while also following specific instructions or guidelines they may have.
RELATED: Will a face mask protect me, or just the people near me?
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know if you have been infected or believe that you may be. If you are infected, a medical professional or another authority will likely advise that you remain isolated while sick. This includes staying at home and not going into public places or large events.
Please visit the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.
For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVIDemail@example.com.
RELATED: CDC changes testing guidance to exclude asymptomatic people exposed to COVID-19, bewildering experts
Globally, there have been over 24.2 million COVID-19 cases, resulting in over 826,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.
Below is an interactive John Hopkins University dashboard, showing a country-by-country breakdown of positive COVID-19 cases across the world.
MOBILE USERS: Click here to view the interactive John Hopkins University dashboard
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