ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 10,249 new cases of COVID-19.
The new cases bring the state’s overall total number of confirmed coronavirus cases since the virus was first detected in Florida to 389,868.
The new cases halt Florida’s trend of having below 10,000 cases daily. Wednesday marked two days in a row where coronavirus cases didn’t exceed 10,000.
The state is now also releasing data about currently hospitalized coronavirus patients. The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration dashboard, as of 10:48 a.m. Thursday, shows 9,547 people are currently receiving treatment at medical facilities across the state due to complications from COVID-19.
The state reported 173 new deaths. The total deaths reported in Florida has now reached 5,518.
The daily positivity rate, which is the number of new positive cases compared to those tested on a given day was 12.31% on Wednesday, according to the DOH.
As of Thursday, 3,215,185 people had been tested statewide.
Here are four things to know about COVID-19 on Thursday. Click the blue headline for full story:
1. Clinic begins work on COVID-19 vaccine: As the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine continues, some Central Florida residents will do their part and help with the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. Accel Clinical Services announced Wednesday that its DeLand clinical research unit would serve as one of the sites for several clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines. Clinical trials help provide participants with access to new care options at no cost to them. To find out how you can help, click or tap here.
2. New stimulus package: The Democratic House passed a whopping $3.5 trillion coronavirus response bill more than two months ago, re-upping a $600 per week federal unemployment benefit that expires July 31, another round of $1,200 payments to most people, and almost $1 trillion for cash-starved states and local governments. The GOP’s $1 trillion-plus response, expected shortly, will have far less money and will feature a sweeping liability shield for schools, businesses, and charities that are trying to reopen.
3. Flagler County COVID-19 testing sites: The Flagler County health department on Wednesday released dates and locations for COVID-19 testing sites to round out the month. The sites are either drive-thru or walk-up and require an appointment. Results are expected within a week to 10 days. Residents should note that church sites are limited to 60 people per session. To make an appointment, click or tap here.
4. Universal Orlando changes face mask policy: Park officials said this week that guests must now be actively eating or drinking in order to remove their face coverings. The company also added more specifics on the types of masks that are allowed at the parks. According to the updated policy, masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the face. Universal also said masks must consist of at least two layers and not include mesh material.
Below is the state COVID-19 dashboard. If you are having trouble viewing the dashboard on mobile, click here.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis strongly emphasized the need to reopen schools, saying that keeping them closed will lead to depression, social isolation and a higher dropout rate, but he acknowledged that parents should be able to keep children at home if they fear the coronavirus.
While all brick-and-mortar schools have been ordered by the state to reopen for the fall semester, many districts are adjusting their plans to delay school start dates and postpone practices for fall sports.
“Why force someone to be in the classroom if they are uncomfortable doing so? Let’s just find a way to make do,” DeSantis said. “And if a school district needs to delay the school year for a few weeks so that everything will be in good shape, have at it.”
Parents of Central Florida students can find everything they need to know about their district’s back-to-school plan at ClickOrlando.com/backtoschool.
Here’s a county-by-county breakdown of coronavirus numbers in the Central Florida region:
|County||Total Cases||New cases||Deaths||Hospitalizations||New Hospitalizations|
The Associated Press contributed to this report.