As Easter Sunday comes to a close, the Florida Department of Health reports there are 19,895 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
On Sunday, the FDOH reported 461 fatalities from the coronavirus, with each county in Central Florida reporting at least two deaths related to the disease.
FDOH reports that there are 2,672 total hospitalizations in the state - 39 more hospitalizations than were reported Sunday morning.
Here is the breakdown of confirmed COVID-19 cases by Central Florida county.
The FDOH numbers do not show how many people have recovered from the virus. Department officials have declined to release that information after several requests from News 6. Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino said coronavirus patients must test negative twice in 24 hours before leaving isolation.
Testing for COVID-19 continues throughout the state, and some testing sites are making changes to operations as confirmed cases of the disease continues to climb.
The Orange County Convention Center will start issuing 400 coronavirus tests a day, and as of April 13, will become a state-operated site run by the Florida Department of Emergency Management, according to a news release. Prior to this change, the site was run by the Department of Health and Human Services and FEMA.
Orange County officials said this change will increase test capacity and will expand testing criteria in Central Florida.
Additionally, modifications have been made to the criteria for a patient to get a free COVID-19 test.
To get a test on Monday you will have to meet one of the following criteria:
- Respiratory issues
- Anyone with underlying health conditions
- Healthcare workers
- First responders
- Anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
For many who observe the holiday, Easter looked very different this year. Churches across Central Florida held holiday services in very nontraditional ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During a press conference, Governor Ron DeSantis stressed that the state will not close any place of worship, but he stressed the importance of following social distance guidelines.
The Florida Department of Employment Opportunities has had significant issues with accommodating the influx of unemployment applications in the past few weeks, and many have turned to paper applications as calls, emails and online forms are going unanswered.
On Sanday, the DEO said its CONNECT website would be going down overnight for maintenance.
In order to improve our ability to process current applications quicker, CONNECT will be unavailable tonight from 8PM–7AM for necessary maintenance. This interruption in service won't affect new applicants. Visit our new user-friendly site https://t.co/xaMF7n3s5r.— Florida DEO (@FLDEO) April 12, 2020
“From August 2019 to February 2020 the contact center took a total of 2.3 million calls,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “The DEO received 3.8 million calls in just last week. That dramatic increase in call volume has prevented people from being able to connect to DEO and then the flood to the website -- the website couldn’t even handle it.”
While Economic Impact Payment stimulus checks are beginning to hit the bank accounts of millions of Americans, the IRS is offering a new way for those who did not file taxes to get their checks more easily.
Direct deposit is the preferred method for the government to issue the money, but paper checks will be mailed eventually as well. Many Americans do not file taxes or haven’t updated their banking information since the last time they filed. The IRS is now allowing people to add new electronic banking information.
According to the IRS, this application should be filled out if you did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income.
Additionally, the IRS said people in these groups who have qualifying children under age 17 can use this application to claim the $500 payment per child.
If you receive Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, or Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits you should not fill out the aforementioned form, according to the IRS.
To fill out the non-filers IRS form, click here.