SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Officials in Seminole County held a news conference Wednesday to discuss new updates regarding the coronavirus, including how the county plans to handle the upcoming election.
With a stay-at-home order in place, some residents are concerned about voting in the upcoming elections to address those concerns Seminole County leaders said they will be sending out mail in ballots.
“We will be sending out a vote by mail request, it will be in your mailboxes the beginning of next week,” Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson said.
All 320,000 Seminole County residents will receive the notice to vote by mail, officials said.
“We believe it will be the safest way to vote,” Anderson added.
To register for a vote by mail ballot, click or tap here.
In-person voting will still be offered for those wishing to vote at the polls.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Seminole County had 276 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 47 patients hospitalized.
According to officials 137 people are currently isolated inside their home recovering from COVID-19.
Hospitals in Seminole County are currently treating 14 individuals who tested positive for the virus as well as 29 patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. County leaders are preparing for a potential surge in hospitals, as of Wednesday afternoon, three people in Seminole County were being treated in the ICU.
Officials said county hospitals have a 65% availability of hospital beds.
“There are no capacity issues at this point,” County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said.
According to county leaders, testing is going smoothly at 21 test sites.
The County had administered 2,431 coronavirus tests Wednesday. Out of more than 2,000 tests, 216 came back positive, officials said.
For those patients who are self-isolating at home, officials in Seminole County are doing everything they can to make sure they are taken care of.
Those who are quarantined with the virus are being supplied with food. According to officials, 179 boxes of food have been delivered to those who are unable to leave their homes.
Did you know you are still able to go to the polls even if you request a Vote-By-Mail ballot? We ask that you bring in your original ballot to surrender, but it is not mandatory, as our system will automatically record you have voted once it has taken place. #StayAtHomeVoteAtHome pic.twitter.com/3uZTVoADJB— VoteSeminole 🗳 (@VoteSeminole) April 7, 2020
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, 309 people had died due to complications from the respiratory illness and 1,955 have been hospitalized during their battle with COVID-19. Since the virus takes about two weeks to run its course, the hospitalization numbers reflect the number of people who have been in a facility since Florida began reporting cases not the number of people hospitalized at one time.
More than 144,500 people have been tested across the state, and about 10.7% of those tests came back positive. Gov. Ron DeSantis has touted Florida’s testing initiatives, saying as of Saturday Florida had tested more than any other state except New York.
Florida remains under a stay-at-home order until April 30.