ORLANDO, Fla. – The latest numbers released Thursday afternoon show there are now more than 23,300 Florida-related cases of the novel coronavirus.
According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida now has 23,340 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 668 coronavirus-related deaths. There are currently 3,458 patients being hospitalized due to the virus, according to health officials.
The previous batch of numbers released Thursday morning showed Florida had 22,897 coronavirus patients, with 3,305 of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and another 633 dead as a result of the respiratory illness.
Thus far, the day with the most new infections was April 3, with 1,300 new cases. For comparison, Wednesday saw 938 new patients, according to FDOH records.
Although the numbers continue to rise daily, health officials said they are seeing signs of improvement and at least one local doctor believes it’s possible that Orange County has already reached its peak -- but that doesn’t mean residents can let their guards down.
The state recently began including race and gender breakdowns of COVID-19 infection in the state dashboard for each county. However, it doesn’t offer a complete picture of those who have or had coronavirus, as most counties are reporting “unknown” under race for at least some cases.
Some communities have seen a disproportionate amount of infections in minorities.
In Orange County, the area with the most cases in the Central Florida region, under ethnicity there is no data or it was unknown for 41% of the 1,114 infections, according to the dashboard.
Here is the breakdown of confirmed COVID-19 cases by Central Florida county.
Zoom out to see the reported cases across the state. If you are having trouble viewing on mobile, click here.
Just as documentation of infection in minority communities lacks proper detail, the number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 is underreported as well.
That data the FDOH releases twice daily on the coronavirus pandemic does not include how many people who tested positive in the past month and have since recovered and returned to their normal lives.
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One organization that does track recoveries is the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, although the numbers from Florida are missing from its figures.
According to the organization’s global coronavirus tracker, embedded below, as of Thursday morning, about 528,300 people have recovered worldwide after testing positive for coronavirus.
The number of Americans facing layoffs and furloughs due to the coronavirus continues to skyrocket.
The government reported Thursday that 5.2 million more people sought unemployment benefits last week. Roughly 22 million have sought jobless benefits in the past month -- easily the worst stretch of U.S. job losses on record. All told, roughly 12 million people are now receiving unemployment checks, nearly matching the peak reached in January 2010, shortly after the Great Recession officially ended.
In Florida, there were 181,293 new claims filed last week.
All businesses deemed nonessential have been closed in nearly every state as the economy has virtually shut down. Deep job losses have been inflicted across nearly every industry. Some economists say the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20% in April, which would be the highest rate since the Great Depression of the 1930s. By comparison, unemployment never topped 10% during the Great Recession.
As many Floridians struggle to keep their businesses and daily lives afloat with suddenly limited incomes, the Internal Revenue Services said many will soon begin receiving their economic impact payment.
As of Thursday, the IRS told News 6 the Get My Payment tool, which allows individuals to check the status of their stimulus payment, is running smoothly.
IRS officials said they are actively monitoring site volume; if site volume gets too high, users are sent to an online “waiting room” for a brief time until space becomes available, much like private sector online sites.
In situations where payment status is not available, the app will respond with “Status Not Available." The IRS reminds users you may receive this message for one of the following reasons:
- If you are not eligible for a payment
- If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019
- If you recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov, your payment status will be updated when processing is completed
- If you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient – the IRS is working with your agency to issue your payment
- Your information is not available in the app yet
As of midday Wednesday, the IRS said more than 6.2 million taxpayers successfully received their payment status and nearly 1.1 million taxpayers successfully provided banking information, ensuring a direct deposit could be quickly sent.
Direct deposit is the preferred method for the government to issue the money, but paper checks will be mailed eventually as well.
If you need to provide or update your banking information, the IRS website will allow you to enter payment information to now receive a direct deposit.
The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law by President Donald Trump aimed at combating the economic ravages of the coronavirus outbreak.
Anyone earning $75,000 or less will receive $1,200 as a direct deposit into their bank account, distributed by the IRS.
Married couples who make less than $150,000 a year will receive $2,400 plus $500 for every child under 17.
Those who earn more than $75,000 but less than $99,000 will receive money as well, but the amount will be reduced by $5 for every $100 they make over $75,000, according to the IRS.