ORLANDO, Fla. – The coronavirus pandemic surge continues in Florida Thursday but at the same time the state attempts to return to a resemblance of normality as Major League Soccer, basketball and baseball events are underway, Disney World reopens in two days and the primary election is a little more than a month away.
Just over 130 days ago, the Florida Department of Health reported the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, since then the DOH has reported 232,718 cases during that time. On Thursday, 8,935 new cases were reported in Florida. The daily positivity rate, which is the number of new positive cases compared to those tested on a given day, dipped to 14.15% Wednesday and 24 hours later was back up at 18.39%, according to the DOH.
As of Thursday, 4,111 people have died in Florida due to complications from the respiratory illness.
On July 1, the Florida Department of Health began reporting resident and non-resident deaths as separate categories. The state reported 120 new resident deaths and zero new non-resident deaths in Florida on Thursday, for a cumulative total of 4,009 resident deaths and 102 non-resident deaths. While deaths due to COVID-19 are delayed up to two weeks, according to the DOH, the latest count set a new record for Florida.
The state reported 409 new hospitalizations due to the virus Thursday, bringing the total to 17,167 of people who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 since March 1. The state does not report current hospitalization numbers, however, last week Gov. Ron DeSantis said that information will be made available.
Here are three things to know today about the pandemic and the economic fallout because of the virus:
- Florida hospitals and COVID-19: While, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates Florida hospitals and health care systems, reports hospitals across the state have just under 20% of their hospital beds available, Central Florida hospital chains, AdventHealth and Orlando Health say they have available capacity and will be able to handle more COVID-19 patients if needed. Hospitals in South Florida, where the majority of cases continue to be reported, were granted a request for more nurses. You can look at the state hospital bed census here by county and hospital.
- Unemployment: More than 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a historically high pace that shows that many employers are still laying people off in the face of a resurgent coronavirus. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that the number of applications for unemployment aid fell from 1.4 million in the previous week. The figure has now topped 1 million for 16 straight weeks. Before the pandemic, the record high for weekly unemployment applications was fewer than 700,000. View the latest report on U.S. unemployment here.
- Disney reopening: In Central Florida, Disney World continues to prepare to welcome guests this weekend for the first time since mid-March. Universal Orlando and Sea World reopened last month. The theme park experience during the pandemic will be different on most levels. If you’re thinking about going to Disney, here’s everything to know about the changes due to COVID-19.
Locally, the record reported deaths on Thursday included people who died in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties after testing positive for COVID-19.
Below is a breakdown of coronavirus numbers in the Central Florida region:
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