ORLANDO, Fla. – Large demonstrations in response to the death of George Floyd continue around Florida --and the world -- Tuesday which is a cause for concern to health officials trying to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the latest numbers released by the Florida Department of Health Tuesday, there have been 57,447 positive cases of COVID-19 since the virus first appeared in Florida more than three months ago.
On Tuesday, 70 new deaths were reported from the virus, bringing the state death toll to 2,530. The new fatalities are the largest increase the state has seen yet but the numbers are often delayed by several weeks, according to the DOH.
At least 1,200 of the fatal cases of coronavirus in Florida are connected to long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. The Coquina Center in Volusia County has reported 23 deaths alone and Highlands Center in Polk make up for 21 deaths in the state, according to the DOH.
The state is reporting 617 new cases of the virus Tuesday and an 181 person increase in hospitalizations, bringing the state total to 10,412 since March 1.
Florida does not release virus recovery numbers or current coronavirus hospitalization numbers.
In the Central Florida region, all 10 counties reported new cases of COVID-19 and new deaths were reported in Osceola, Polk and Volusia counties.
Here’a a county-by-county breakdown of coronavirus cases in Central Florida:
Outside of the health, social and emotional impacts of the pandemic, Floridians continue to face economic hardships due to furloughs and layoffs because of the virus.
More than 2 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in Florida since early March, according to Floridajobs.org. Many are still waiting on payments from state benefits or federal CARES Act unemployment benefits.
Later this week Universal Orlando will open its theme parks returning hundreds of people to work. Other theme parks, including Disney and SeaWorld, have also announced plans to reopen.
The tourism and food industry were hardest hit by layoffs due to the pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity dashboard. Of the top counties with unemployment claims across the state, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Brevard and Volusia are among them, according to the Florida DEO.
On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis extended his executive order to temporarily suspended all evictions and foreclosures for non-payment related to COVID-19. The order now covers renters and homeowners until July 1 but eventually, they will have to back pay.
It remains to be seen if the large number of demonstrations across the state will have an impact on Florida coronavirus recovery.
On Monday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he was concerned Gov. Ron DeSantis might not move forward with plans to enter phase two of reopening with “property damage and violence going on at the same time."
The mayor said he was worried by the large number of people out in the community not adhering to social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
“What I saw happen this weekend was numerous demonstrations occurred in our community. Large crowds would gather and there were many individuals who were not wearing facial masks and were in immediate surroundings of each other,” Demings said Monday during one of the county’s regularly scheduled coronavirus briefings.
Coronavirus cases take several days or even more than a week to confirm. The respiratory illness is spread from person-to-person and more easily indoors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.