Florida announces 651 new cases of COVID-19

2.1 million unemployment claims filed in US last week

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: Medical workers walk outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical Center on May 26, 2020 in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. While certain neighborhoods are still seeing high infection numbers, New York has seen the number of deaths from COVID-19 statewide begin to consistently stay below 100 people per day. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) (Spencer Platt, 2020 Getty Images)

Cases of coronavirus continue to be reported in Florida as the state pushes forward with reopening measures under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ guidance.

As of Thursday afternoon, the FDOH reported 651 new cases of COVID-19, as well as 45 new deaths since approximately the same time Wednesday.

This beings the total number of cases of COVID-19 reported in Florida since it was first detected in the state on March 1 to 53,285, as well as 2,364 deaths.

Since March, 9,795 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.

Here is how reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths breakdown by county in Central Florida:

CountyTotal casesTotal hospitalizationsTotal deaths

On Thursday, the United States Department of Labor released its weekly statistical report for unemployment in the country and the report detailed struggle and financial hardship for Americans.

Nearly 2.1 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week alone, signaling a deep recession in which companies are still furloughing employees and cutting down their workforces.

Roughly 41 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the beginning of March when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic become pronounced. According to the DOL’s Thursday report, 21 million Americans are receiving unemployment aid - roughly only half of those who applied for assistance.

The Associated Press reported the national jobless rate was 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression, and many economists expect it will near 20% in May.

The AP also reported the U.S. economy shrank at an even faster pace than initially estimated in the first three months of 2020, with economists continuing to expect a far worse outcome in the current April-June quarter.

According to a report by the Commerce Department, the nation’s economy shrank by about 5%, marking the largest quarterly decline in more than 10 years; for comparison, the economic crisis in 2008 saw a gross domestic product failure of 8.4%.

You can read the weekly unemployment report from the DOL here.

The DOL reported Florida had the third-highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending May 9 at 25%, only proceeded by Washington at 31.2% and Nevada at 26.7%.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has been scrutinized for its delays in fulfilling claims for unemployment benefits in the state, and is now the subject of lawsuits in which prosecutors are hoping a judge will order the department to speed up the rate of payments to Floridians.

As of Thursday afternoon, the DEO reported it had received nearly 2.2 million claims for unemployment benefits since March 15; of that number, the department reported that only slightly over 1 million claimants had been paid.

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.