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Florida coronavirus cases rise above 40,500 as businesses continue to reopen

FDOH announces new coronavirus cases in the State

More than 482,000 coronavirus tests have been administered in Florida, but Gov. Ron DeSantis admits the number also reflects people who have received more than one test.
More than 482,000 coronavirus tests have been administered in Florida, but Gov. Ron DeSantis admits the number also reflects people who have received more than one test. (WKMG)

On Sunday, the Florida Department of Health reported a total of 40,596 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.

The FDOH reports 1,721 total deaths have resulted after complications with coronavirus.

[READ MORE: When did coronavirus first appear in Florida?]

Since Saturday, there were 495 new cases of COVID-19 reported by the FDOH.

According to officials, 7,171 people have been hospitalized due to the respiratory illness.

The state does not report current hospitalization numbers.

[TIMELINE: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]

Below are cases of COVID-19 broken down locally by county in Central Florida.

CountyCasesHospitalizationsDeaths
Brevard328509
Flagler147154
Lake2426114
Marion208305
Orange1,50527035
Osceola57213812
Polk63620633
Seminole4159511
Sumter2444214
Volusia5489728

Orange County is preparing to hand out one million masks and 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to small businesses in an effort to help them reopen amid the coroanvirus pandemic.

Orange County's Director of Public Safety Danny Banks said small businesses were hit the hardest during the state shut down.

"The government shut these businesses down. We now see it as our responsibility to get them going again," Banks said.

He said many small business owners are struggling to reopen because they can't find the PPE needed to stay in compliance with the governor's guidelines. Now the county is stepping in to help.

"We've got the intent of moving one million masks and 200,000 hand sanitizers in just five days," Banks said.

Banks said they’re giving those supplies to small business owners in Orange County for free.

[READ MORE: Here’s how Orange County small businesses can get free masks, hand sanitizer]

Florida nursing home facilities take precautions to protect residents from coronavirus
Florida nursing home facilities take precautions to protect residents from coronavirus

More than 650 patients have died at Florida's nursing homes and assisted living facilities from the new coronavirus, including 22 at a facility near St. Petersburg, state data shows.

Florida Department of Health figures released late Friday night show that 656 patients, eight employees and one person of unknown status have died at the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities with 14 reporting at least 10 deaths and 183 reporting at least one.

That means nursing homes and ALFs account for almost 40% of the state’s 1,715 confirmed deaths from COVID-19.

According to the Florida Health Care Association, a trade group, there are 700 nursing homes and 3,100 ALFs in the state caring for 155,000 people. The facilities employ 200,000 people.

[READ MORE: Florida reports 650 coronavirus deaths at nursing homes]

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that hair salons, nail salons and barbershops, which were originally not allowed to open their doors under the governor’s phase one plan of reopening the state, will now be able to start accepting customers once again come Monday.

The news was shared in a tweet featuring a video of J Henry’s Barber Shop owner J. Henry.

“We are ready to get back to work and make some money,” Henry said from his shop on Church Street in downtown Orlando. “But getting back to work, we want to be safe and continue wearing our gloves, wearing masks, book by appointments and continue to keep the community safe.”

[READ MORE: Florida hair salons, barbershops can open starting Monday]

During a news conference Friday, The mayor of Ocala said that he will not be following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ phase one orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor said that authorities will not be arresting anyone for gathering.

“If there are more than 10 people in a group, we’re not going to stop them,” Guinn said. “Let Marion County be an example of how we can bring the economy back in Florida.”

According to the mayor, phase one violates the community’s rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of religion, as well as those granted by the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

“We are not going to go around the city and county occupancy or capacity,” Guinn said. “We’re not going to shut down any churches, we’re not going to do that.”

While Ocala police won’t enforce the rules, state authorities with agencies like the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, OSHA and other state-run entities can enforce the rules.

[READ MORE: Ocala mayor says authorities won’t enforce Florida’s reopening rules]

Sweet Tomatoes
Sweet Tomatoes

Sweet Tomatoes, also known at Soup Plantation in other parts of the U.S., is closing all of its restaurants permanently, according to the San Diego Tribune.

The self-service eatery will close all 97 restaurants it announced Thursday.

San Diego based Garden Fresh Restaurants, which owns Sweet Tomatoes, has been trying to salvage its operations but the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the buffet-style eatery as the FDA put out recommendations to discontinue this style of serving.

“The FDA had previously put out recommendations that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve beverages in fast food, but they specifically talked about salad bars and buffets,” said John Haywood, CEO of Garden Fresh, said to the San Diego Tribune. “The regulations are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen. And I’m not sure the health departments are ever going to allow it.

[READ MORE: Sweet Tomatoes closing for good amid coronavirus pandemic, report says]

COVID-19 antibody testing is underway at the Orange County Convention Center after a slight delay due to missing testing equipment, according to a testing site official.

The State of Florida secured 200,000 antibody tests. The convention center site can test 80 people a day.

Right now the tests are only for first responders and healthcare workers to determine if they have been exposed to the virus.

“Just the sheer amount of patient contact that first responders and healthcare workers have had,” Lauren Luna is a spokesperson for the temporary site said. “If they know, that’s good information for them just to be aware.”

[READ MORE: Drive-thru rapid COVID-19 antibody testing to begin at Orange County Convention Center]

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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