ORLANDO, Fla. – The first day of June kicks off a big month for Central Florida. Hurricane season began and will continue through the end of November, and the state has now spent two weeks under what Gov. Ron DeSantis called “full phase one” of his plan to reopen the state.
June 1 also marks three months since COVID-19 was first diagnosed in Florida.
[TIMELINE: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]
As of Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported 667 news cases of COVID-19 since approximately the same time Sunday, as well as 13 additional deaths.
These new statistics bring the total number of cases of COVID-19 since the disease was first detected in the state on March 1 to 56,830, as well as 2,460 total deaths.
Since the beginning of March, 10,231 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 or the number of individuals who have recovered from the disease after being diagnosed.
Death data reporting is delayed, according to the DOH dashboard, and could take up to two weeks to report.
Over the weekend, the interactive dashboard Florida uses to share information about cases of coronavirus went down for a period, requiring a login. As of Monday the dashboard was made public again.
Below is a breakdown of coronavirus cases in Central Florida by county:
|County||Total cases||Total hospitalizations||Total deaths|
With hurricane season now posing an additional threat to the state as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, new studies show that Floridians may be less likely to evacuate their homes in the instance of a hurricane this year over the year previous.
[ASK NEWS 6: Submit your hurricane-related questions here]
A study by AAA found that nearly a third, 31%, of Floridians are more concerned about the 2020 hurricane season than they were in 2019.
AAA researchers found two-of-five Floridians, or 42%, said they are less likely to evacuate for a storm this year for fear of contracting the coronavirus; more than a quarter of residents, or 29%, said they would not leave their homes if they were warned to evacuate.
[HURRICANES AND COVID-19: What would it take for you to evacuate?]
As Floridians prepare for what experts say could be a very active hurricane season, emergency preparedness experts are encouraging everyone to take advantage of the hurricane sales tax holiday and stock up on essentials.
The sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies will run to June 4 on items such as batteries, generators, weather radios and fuel cans.
Famous attractions are opening across Central Florida making June an important month for many employers to bring employees back on board after massive furloughs and layoffs.
Universal Orlando got the go-ahead from the governor to open all three of its Central Florida parks starting Friday.
Park officials said new health and safety protocols will be in place, including requiring all guests to wear masks, have their temperature checked and practice social distancing.
Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay have been closed since mid-March to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Universal’s City Walk reopened May 14 with limited hours and face mask requirements.
On a smaller scale, the city of Orlando is welcoming a few friendly fowl back to Lake Eola by opening their swan boat rentals with enhanced health and safety measures.