ORLANDO, Fla. – For the past week, Florida coronavirus cases have grown daily by nearly a thousand cases and on Friday positive test results catapulted Florida’s total over 10,000, the latest data from the Florida Department of Health shows.
By Friday at 6 p.m., COVID-19 cases had reached 10,268, an increase of more than 680 new cases since numbers were released earlier in the day. The state is also reporting additional deaths due to the virus, bringing the new death toll to 170 across the state, including in several Central Florida counties.
Since March 29, Florida has seen an increase of cases every day by more than 850 and on Wednesday and Thursday a surge of more than 2,000 between two days.
The Florida DOH numbers do not show how many people have recovered from the virus. Department officials have declined to release that information after several requests from WKMG. Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino said coronavirus patients must test negative twice in 24 hours before leaving isolation.
More than 1,330 people with coronavirus are hospitalized, according to the DOH. Nearly 60% of Florida’s available hospital beds are unavailable, according to a new database from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which is tracking available resources amid the pandemic.
Florida is now under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Residents and visitors are asked to limit their activity outside the home to essential activities including exercise outside, getting food and gas. Similar orders are in place across the country, only a few governors haven’t made that call.
The novel coronavirus is spread from person-to-person through droplets from sneezes or coughs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to slow the spread is to avoid contact with other people.
DeSantis also announced plans this week to step in and fix Florida’s overloaded unemployment system. Hundreds of thousands of people across the state have been furloughed due to the pandemic and checks from the $2.2 billion federal stimulus bill may still be weeks away.
In Central Florida, Orange County is quickly topped 600 confirmed cases of the virus and a FEMA-managed testing site is still testing hundreds of possible cases a day. Similar large drive-thru testing sites have opened around the state. Next week, Brevard County will have at least one drive-thru testing site open.
Sumter, Polk and Orange counties all reported new fatalities Friday.
Here’s a breakdown of coronavirus cases in the Central Florida region:
Two cruise ships with dozens of possible coronavirus cases on board were given permission to dock in Fort Lauderdale Thursday after waiting offshore for more than a week. Holland America made an agreement with Broward County officials to bring in its Rotterdam and Zaandam cruise ships.
“Guests who still have symptoms will remain on board and disembark at a later date to be finalized after they have fully recovered and meet the CDC guidelines for being fit to travel,” according to Holland America. “They will continue to be well cared for on board by the ships’ medical staffs.”
By Friday, beaches in Flagler and Volusia counties were closed and Brevard beach access is limited to local residents for exercise only. Flagler County leaders closed the beaches March 22.
The Florida DOH releases the latest coronavirus numbers for the state at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.