11/19/2021 6:00 p.m. EST
The Florida Department of Health reported 10,828 new cases on Friday, Nov. 19, that occurred during the past week, bringing the state’s overall total to 3,677,968 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020. That is an average of 1,547 new infections reported per day.
Florida reported 37 new virus-related deaths Friday, Nov. 12, from the past week but the cumulative death toll of 61,081 actually shows there have been 384 new deaths added to the state total. The state has not provided any information as to when these deaths occurred.
FDOH reports 14,180,980 people 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.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed four new laws at a special session on Friday, Nov. 19. The laws ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates. To read more about the recently approved legislation, click here.
Pfizer asked U.S. regulators to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for all adults on Friday, Nov. 19.
Orange County’s local state of emergency expired Wednesday, Oct. 27, nearly three months after Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signed an executive order declaring it. Demings announced the end of the local state of emergency at a news conference on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
Orange County’s local state of emergency, urging residents and visitors to wear a mask in indoor spaces, expired Wednesday, Oct. 27, as COVID-19 cases continue to decline throughout the county. Demings, though, said he isn’t declaring this a victory for the county until they reach zero COVID-19 transmissions.
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is lifting its mask and negative COVID-19 test requirement for guests and artists at indoor shows and events. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wear masks indoors. However, some artists and events may still require all guests to wear masks, including the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando series. The Dr. Phillips Center is also pausing its COVID-19 vaccination policy.
Health care status
The most recent hospital numbers show 1,079 adult patients with COVID and 14 pediatric patients hospitalized with the virus across the state.
The latest hospital data for Florida can be found here.
A judge sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration on Friday, Nov. 5, rejecting a challenge filed by six Florida school boards against a Florida Department of Health rule which prevents student mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for children ages 5-11, Orange County Public Schools kicked off a four-day vaccination event at the district’s high schools on Tuesday. District officials said 1,003 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to children between 5-11 years old and 370 doses were administered to students 12 and older.
As a result of new legislation signed by Gov. DeSantis, masks are now optional for everyone at Orange County Public Schools.
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.
Disney has also paused its employee vaccination requirements as part of new legislation signed by Gov. DeSantis.
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.