ORLANDO, Fla. – As Floridians prepare to clock out and enjoy the weekend, health officials on Friday announced 3,204 new cases of the coronavirus in Florida.
The new cases of the respiratory illness bring the state total to 677,660 since the pandemic was first detected in March.
The Florida Department of Health reported 140 new deaths Friday, bringing the state’s death toll from the pandemic to 13,387. Florida’s death total is comprised of 13,225 residents and 162 non-residents who died in the state from the virus.
Recent deaths from COVID-19 across Central Florida made up 24 out of the 140 new fatalities reported across the state.
Data from COVID-19 related deaths is often delayed and new deaths can take up to two weeks to report, according to health officials.
According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, as of Friday morning, there were a total of 2,384 patients hospitalized statewide with COVID-19 compared to the same time 24 hours ago.
The DOH reported 187 new hospitalized patients Friday, bringing the state total to 42,234 for people who have been in the hospital at some point during the last six months due to the virus.
Florida’s positivity rate -- the number of new cases compared to overall tests --- was 4.18% on Thursday.
[SEE THURSDAY’S REPORT: Florida jobless numbers improve as state reports more than 3,200 new COVID-19 infections]
Here are three things to know about the virus for Sept. 18. Click on the blue headline to read more about the story:
- Twisted Sister won’t take it: Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider took to social media to condemn anti-maskers who went into a Florida Target store blaring the group’s hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” while ripping off their masks. In a tweet Wednesday, Snider called the stunt “moronic,” and shared a viral video that was recorded by an upset customer inside the Target at Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale. To see the viral video, click or tap here.
- High school football returns: On Thursday night, high school football kicked off in Central Florida, including schools in Orlando. Orange County Public Schools said tickets for the games will be limited and there will be no in-person marching bands or cheerleaders. OCPS canceled a JV Volleyball game scheduled to take place at Boone High School Thursday, after a positive COVID-19 case. Evans High School’s football game was also canceled due to five positive cases, according to district officials. To find out how many students were tested before the game and how many were positive for COVID-19, click or tap here.
- How are the bars doing after reopening?: Department of Business and Professional Regulation secretary Halsey Beshears sat down for an interview with News 6 anchor Lisa Bell on Thursday. He said that this time around, he expects more bars and pubs to comply with social distancing rules. To watch the full interview, click or tap here.
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More than 3.7 million Floridians have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus economic downfall began, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. Claims have been on a downward trend for the past several weeks but remain historically high for the Sunshine State and around the country.
The economy and job market have recovered somewhat from the initial shock, but the recovery remains fragile, imperiled by continuing COVID-19 infections as schools reopen and no agreement on another economic rescue package in Washington.