10/15/2021 6:45 p.m. EST
The Florida Department of Health most recently reported 19,519 new cases on Oct. 15 that occurred during the past week, bringing the state’s overall total to 3,620,562 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 123 new virus-related deaths from the past week but the cumulative death toll of 57,859 actually shows there have been 1,192 new deaths added to the state total. The state has not provided any information as to when these deaths occurred.
FDOH reports 13,790,455 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.
A new law banning vaccine passports in Florida is now in effect and would impose a fine of $5,000 per violation of the ban, meaning for every person who did not get vaccinated and then was required to, the county, city or employer would be fined $5,000.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on extra shots of Pfizer’s vaccine with CDC advisers saying boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents, those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems and those ages 18 to 64 in jobs with a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.
On Thursday, Oct. 14, the FDA also signed off on a half-dose Moderna COVID-19 booster shot for the same groups listed above once they are at least six months past their last Moderna shot.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signed an executive order recently declaring a local state of emergency, urging residents and visitors to wear a mask in indoor spaces. At the latest news conference on Thursday, Oct. 14, Demings said the local state of emergency could come as early as next week.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signed an executive order recently declaring a local state of emergency, urging residents and visitors to wear a mask in indoor spaces. This rule could end as early as next week, according to Demings at an Oct. 14 news conference.
Health care status
The most recent hospital numbers show 2,870 adult patients with COVID and 57 pediatric patients hospitalized with the virus across the state.
The latest hospital data for Florida can be found here.
An appeals court in Tallahassee has granted Florida’s request to reinstate a ban on mask mandates for students, handing a temporary win to Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration.
Orange and Brevard County Public Schools were recently found not in compliance with the mask requirements set by the state and were issued a 48-hour notice on Thursday, Oct. 14 to comply with the mandates. If the school districts do not comply, they face a financial penalty in an amount equal to the monthly salaries of board members.
Disney World tweaked its face mask policy to allow visitors to choose whether or not to wear face coverings in outdoor lines, outdoor theaters and outdoor attractions. Masks had been required previously.
Businesses & facilities
Publix is ordering its employees to return to wearing masks inside its stores regardless of their vaccination status.
Walmart is encouraging customers to wear masks in areas seeing a surge in cases and will be adding back signs at the entrances as well as bring back so-called health ambassadors who will be stationed at the entrances.
Seniors needing a ride to their vaccine appointment in Orange County can ride for free with Lynx.
How to help
If you’d like to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic, here’s a list of groups to which you can donate.