ORLANDO, Fla. – Less than a month after the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Florida, the state has nearly 2,000 cases, including 23 deaths, as part of the global pandemic, according to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health.
It’s been 25 days since Gov. Ron DeSantis first announced the coronavirus had arrived in the Sunshine State. As of Wednesday, testing has widely expanded throughout the state and more than 16,000 people have been tested for the highly contagious virus.
Numbers from the state saw a jump between Wednesday morning to evening by 295, bringing Florida’s new total by 6 p.m. to 1,977, including 110 non-Florida residents in the state who have contracted COVID-19.
Overnight into Wednesday, two more people died and by the evening another person had died, bringing the state total to 23, according to the DOH.
Florida is expected to see an increase as more testing sites open around the state. More than 23,000 state-wide have been tested as of Wednesday evening.
A FEMA and Florida National Guard managed testing site opened Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center. Similar large-scale pop-up medical sites are also located in Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami.
DeSantis has issued several executive orders to prevent person-to-person contact and slow the spread of the virus, but he has not called for a statewide stay-at-home order. Leaders of several counties and cities around Florida have begun to issue those on their own, including Orange County.
Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino, with the Department of Health, said the reason people must stay at home and away from others is because people transmit the virus to other people.
“The safe assumption is that everyone else has it,” Pino said. “Even if you have a negative test today doesn’t mean you can’t have it tomorrow.”
[Timeline: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]
According to the DOH database, Orange County has the fifth highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. The county saw a jump in cases between Tuesday and Wednesday evening bringing the new total to 89.
South Florida continues to have the most concentrated numbers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, followed by Hillsborough County.
The Florida Department of Health releases the statewide numbers twice a day at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The state’s database includes information about confirmed cases, how many people have been tested, the ages of confirmed cases and more.
In Central Florida, all counties have confirmed cases of the respiratory illness. Here’s the breakdown by county:
Around the world, the death total surpassed 21,000 on Wednesday with more than 466,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
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