Florida reports 424 new cases, 7 more deaths of COVID-19

State businesses continue to reopen under Gov. DeSantis’ plan

Cocoa Beach, Fla., is packed with Memorial Day beachgoers on Saturday, May 23, 202 The beaches are open for business again during the coronavirus epidemic. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP) (Orlando Sentinel 2019)

As the state exited a long holiday weekend, fraught with massive crowds gathering along beaches, Florida pushes forward under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to reopen.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Department of Health reported 424 new cases of COVID-19 since the previous day, and seven new deaths related to the virus.

That brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida, since it was first detected in the state on March 1, to 52,170. The state’s death toll stands at 2,259.

Since March, 9,482 people with severe cases of the virus have required hospitalization. The state does not report the number of current patients in hospitals with the coronavirus.

While Florida works to lower the number of new cases of coronavirus that are diagnosed daily, officials with the World Health Organization said the first wave of the pandemic is not over, warning that globally, cases of the virus continue to rise, rather than decrease.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization, said that a speedy economic rebound is unlikely as the world is still “smack in the middle of the pandemic.”

“Right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally," said Ryan. “We’re still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up,” Ryan said in an interview with the AP, pointing to South America, South Asia and other areas where infections are still on the rise.

[MORE: WHO warns that first wave of pandemic not over]

Locally, nursing homes have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 which has posed especially serious health risks to the elderly and immune compromised.

An Ormond Beach nursing home, the Opis Coquina Center, has had 22 deaths linked to the respiratory illness as of Monday, and is just one of 549 facilities across the state that have tested positive for the disease.

More than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in Florida have been linked to long-term care facilities, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The DOH also reports more than 1,700 residents at such facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida.

[DETAILS: Ormond Beach nursing home linked to 22 COVID-19 deaths]

Memorial Day celebrations drew massive crowds to Daytona Beach where two people were shot and four others were injured. Despite the violence that occurred during the unpermitted event, city and county officials said the crowds were in blatant violation of guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

[READ MORE - Video: Massive crowds gather in Daytona Beach; residents fear for their safety]

Here is how cases of COVID-19 break down locally by Central Florida County:

CountyTotal casesTotal hospitalizationsTotal deaths

In just over 24 hours, the nation will see its first astronaut launch since 2011 taking off from Central Florida’s very own Space Coast. While an event of the magnitude would usually draw massive crowds of onlookers, officials are asking people to enjoy the milestone from their own homes.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are set to attend in person to watch SpaceX become the first private company to launch humans into orbit.

Despite NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s plea to the public, asking people to watch the historic launch from home, Brevard County officials are predicting around 200,000 will make the trip to the Space Coast for the launch.

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