Florida coronavirus cases approaching 18,000 into Easter weekend as all counties now have infections

28 COVID-19 patients died Friday

A religious statue sits beyond yellow tape roping off a closed public park during the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Miami. Religious leaders worldwide are urging people to celebrate Good Friday and Easter from the safety of their homes. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Going into Easter weekend Florida is just shy of 18,000 coronavirus case statewide, including hundreds of deaths and the pandemic has now touched every county in the Sunshine State, according to the latest information from the Florida Department of Health.

On Good Friday, Florida saw 28 new fatalities from the coronavirus, meaning since March 1 419 people have died from the respiratory illness.

There are 17,968 people across the state who have tested positive for the virus since the first confirmed case more than a month ago. While most people can self-isolate at home and will experience mild symptoms from the illness 2,496 infected people have been hospitalized in Florida since this all began.

At the beginning of the day only one county had yet to report infections but by 6 p.m. when the DOH released the latest the virus had been confirmed in all 67 counties. Liberty County was the last county without infections. According to the DOH, a 56-year-old man became the county’s first case.

In Central Florida, Orange County cases surpassed 900 Friday, as the county with the fourth-highest total in Florida. Combined Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach make up more than half of Florida’s COVID-19 positive test results with more than 10,410 by Friday evening.

Lake, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties all reported new fatalities Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of cases in Central Florida:

CountyCasesHospitalizationsDeaths
Brevard121352
Flagler4471
Lake149413
Marion8392
Orange90213313
Osceola305955
Polk241758
Seminole238582
Sumter107279
Volusia190456

The Florida DOH reports new positive cases of the coronavirus at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day. See the map below of cases by county and by zip code.

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In an effort to help the community get answers about the financial fallout and what’s to come, on Thursday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, joined News 6 for a virtual town hall along with Dr. Sean Snaith, director for UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting; Pam Nabors, CEO of CareerSource Central Florida and Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership. Re-watch that here as they answer questions about unemployment, financial help and more.

Meanwhile, the Senate failed to pass legislation this week that would expand funding to help small businesses during the pandemic. Negotiations will continue but it’s the latest wrench in Congressional leaders plan to assist small businesses after nationwide fears of money running out.

Many Americans were set to begin receiving checks from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package on Thursday, as unemployment reached 10% with millions out of work due to the outbreak.

As Christians prepare for Good Friday and Jews are in the middle of Passover week, most services will be online, or should be, to avoid any potential spread of the virus. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has not banned religious gathers but has encouraged religious leaders to offer alternatives to in-person services.

DeSantis said many religious groups are offering services online or outdoors, similar to a drive-up movie theater.

“We want people during this time to be spiritually together, but to remain socially distant, please keep God close, but please keep COVID-19 away,” DeSantis said Monday.

As distance learning continues for all Florida students, children in some Central Florida counties will be able to pick up extra meals to carry them through the weekend, schools districts in Volusia and Orange counties will provide extra grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches beginning Friday. The meals are available to anyone under 18, regardless of if they qualified for free or reduced lunch programs prior to the outbreak.

Offering a glimpse of what is to come, people living in Wuhan, China are adjusting to their new normal after the city where the pandemic began opened again. Hear what it’s like from a Brevard County man living through it and making it out on the other side.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.