Florida announces 1,038 new coronavirus cases as state approaches first steps to reopen

Florida Department of Health releases new data

ORLANDO, Fla. – As Florida begins the daunting process of reopening under Gov. DeSantis’s phase one plane, The Florida Department of Health announced over 1,000 new cases of coronavirus since Thursday.

The 1,038 new cases bring the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state to 34,728. The total number of deaths rose by 46 from Thursday’s data, increasing the total number 1,314 since the first case was reported in Florida on March 1.

In all, there have been 5,767 hospitalizations in Florida, health officials said.

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[Zoom out to see the reported cases across the state. If you are having trouble viewing on mobile, click here.]

Here’s how those cases break down locally by county in Central Florida:

The end of Florida’s statewide stay-at-home order is quickly approaching and some businesses that have been shuttered for the past month due to the coronavirus pandemic will slowly start to reopen.

While many retail doors will open, there are rules and stipulations that must be followed.

[MORE: Everything you need to know about phase one of reopening Florida]

Since mid-March, Floridians unable to work due to the pandemic have struggled to receive unemployment benefits through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website CONNECT or to speak to a service representative due to the volume of calls and applications.

As of Wednesday, the DEO has made more than 416,000 unemployment benefit payments out of the 916,000 unique claims submitted, according to the most recent numbers on the DEO dashboard. The state has paid more than $579 million in unemployment, more than half of which has been funded by federal pandemic aid.

During a Q&A Thursday, Department of Management Services Secretary John Satter explained that those who filed 1099 tax forms such as contractors or gig workers won’t find an application on Floridajobs.org because the state isn’t ready to process those types of benefits.

“We are building the system to be able to accept those applications because these are federal dollars,” Satter said.

He said it could be another five to seven days before PUA applications can be processed through the DEO CONNECT system.

MORE: Florida not ready to administer retroactive payments, pandemic benefits to those who have exhausted unemployment

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump shared a message with the graduates of 2020 Friday morning.

Seniors around the globe have experienced a school year unlike any other. Most schools transitioned to distance learning and many school functions were canceled amid the pandemic.

To read Trump’s letter to the graduating class of 2020 click or tap here.

MORE: Here’s what President Trump has to say to 2020 graduates

On the first day parks and marinas reopened since the coronavirus shutdown, Miami Beach police issued 652 warnings to people who weren't wearing face masks and had to remove 145 people from parks after closing time, city officials said.

City Manager Jimmy Morales called Wednesday's reopening a “very challenging Day One.”

MORE: ‘Very challenging:’ Florida city issues 652 face mask warnings 1st day back in parks

Comcast CEO and Chairman Brian Roberts announced in a conference call Thursday morning that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shutter theme parks, Universal Orlando Resort will pause construction on its Epic Universe project.

“We remain very confident that the parks business will generate healthy returns over the long term,” Roberts said during a conference call. “Nonetheless, we’ve decided to pause construction of Orlando’s fourth gate or epic universe at this early stage. While we focus on the immediate challenges that COVID-19 presents, while the final stage of the work continued full force for Super Nintendo World Japan, which is expected to open later this year, and universal Beijing which remains on schedule to open in 2021.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said in news conference Thursday that he had been briefed by park officials on what the delay in construction would mean for the county.

MORE: Universal pauses construction on new Epic Universe theme park amid coronavirus pandemic

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