Florida coronavirus cases top 33,000 as Gov. DeSantis announces plan to roll back closures

Statewide death toll now exceeds 1,200, new numbers show

As Gov. Ron DeSantis revealed his game plan on Wednesday to reopen Florida after the statewide stay-at-home order ends, health officials are reporting 33,193 people have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic reached the state.

The latest numbers released by the Florida Department of Health also reveal 1,218 people have died due to the respiratory illness. Hardest hit Miami-Dade County makes up more than a third of those fatalities alone, according to the state data.

Since March 1, 5,419 patients with serious cases of COVID-19 have required hospitalization as of Wednesday. The state does not release current hospitalization numbers but the governor said earlier in the week the current patients are about half the overall total shown on the state dashboard.

Take a look at the latest state numbers below. If you are having trouble viewing on mobile, click here.

Florida’s stay-at-home order is scheduled to lift Friday. Wednesday evening, DeSantis said most of Florida minus the hardest-hit areas can begin phase one of reopening come May 4.

In Orange County, a task force continues to meet and create mandates for the “new normal” for businesses. The task force is working with the delicate balance of protecting lives while protecting livelihoods.

“For most business, this is going to require face masks, hand sanitizer, and thermometers for temperature checks and things like that. We will go through the different industries so people are going to have to prepare for that,” task force member Unicorp National Development President Chuck Whittall said Thursday.

Lake County reported one of the only first responders in Central Florida to have died from the virus Wednesday. The Clermont Police Department Officer Conrad Buckley died early Tuesday as a result of the respiratory illness.

View the latest county-by-county coronavirus numbers in the Central Florida region below:

CountyCase totalHospitalizationsDeaths

The U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country and began triggering a recession that will end the longest expansion on record.

In just a few weeks, businesses across the country have shut down and laid off tens of millions of workers. Factories and stores are shuttered. Home sales are falling. Households are slashing spending. Consumer confidence is sinking.

Meanwhile, more than 266,000 Floridians awaiting unemployment paychecks due to the pandemic were told to reapply if they were denied and had submitted applications prior to April 5, because of the start of a new quarter, according to Florida law. However, many are reporting issues submitting new applications due to issues with the CONNECT Floridajobs.org system.

More than 674,000 payments have been made totaling $553 million as of Tuesday evening, the last time the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity dashboard was updated.

Important information about coronavirus

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people who are infected recover.

However, U.S. health officials say many who have the virus will never show symptoms or know they are contagious.

Cough, fever and shortness of breath are the most widely reported symptoms of the novel coronavirus but recently the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its list of known COVID-19 symptoms adding six new symptoms: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and loss of taste or smell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

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