ORLANDO, Fla. – As Walt Disney World gears up for the first full week of guests at all four of its theme parks since reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic and parents face tough choices on back-to-school plans for their children, COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Florida, with the state Department of Health on Monday reporting 10,347 new confirmed cases and 92 more deaths.
Monday marked the 12th day since the Fourth of July that the number of cases has topped 10,000. The new reported deaths brings Florida’s seven-day average to about 114 per day. Its overall deaths rank 25th in the nation per capita, or about seven times less than highest-ranked New Jersey.
Since the beginning of the pandemic -- the first Florida cases were reported in March -- there have been 360,394 cases in the state, resulting in 5,183 deaths.
On July 1, the Florida Department of Health began reporting resident and non-resident deaths as separate categories. The state reported a total of 5,072 resident deaths and 111 non-resident deaths in Florida on Monday, for a cumulative total of 5,183 deaths.
Hospitalizations for the disease continued to increase, standing at 9,452 statewide in the late morning Monday -- up about 160 from the day before. Though the increase has slowed when compared to about week ago, those additional patients have been straining intensive care units of some hospitals in the South Florida, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville areas -- and many administrators have limited non-emergency procedures to help make space.
Statewide, 18% of ICU beds were available.
Below is the state dashboard. If you are having trouble viewing the dashboard on mobile, click here.
Meanwhile, the debate over reopening schools may be headed to court.
A joint lawsuit filed by an Orange County teacher and parent, whose kids are enrolled in the school district, was filed Sunday. It asks a judge to intervene and stop districts from conducting face-to-face learning.
The lawsuit states that the school district doesn’t have enough resources to follow CDC guidelines for reopening, including social distancing in classrooms and safe transportation for students. The suit says that the Orange County school board is being forced to reopen in August to avoid the risk of losing state funding and claims if schools reopen, the health of teachers and students will be at risk.
The lawsuit alleges that by reopening schools, “teachers, staff, and children are at severe risk of exposure to COVID-19, which will no doubt lead to serious illness and death ... and will also worsen the spread.”
Here’s a county-by-county breakdown of coronavirus numbers in the Central Florida region:
|County||Total Cases||New Cases||Deaths||Hospitalizations||New hospitalizations|
Walt Disney World reopened its Epcot and Hollywood Studios theme parks on Wednesday. Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened last weekend. Both Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando opened last month.
Masks are required at the parks, and many stores, including Target and Publix, will also require face coverings for shoppers.
Florida theme parks may be reopened, but U.S. travelers won’t be allowed to travel to the Bahamas starting Wednesday.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the travel restrictions Sunday stating COVID-19 spikes led to his decision on banning international travel
The state of Florida recently closed bars -- for the second time since the pandemic began -- because customers weren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Miami-Dade County again recently prohibited restaurants from having indoor seating and Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, announced a two-week curfew Friday that bans most people from being outside from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and an order limiting private gatherings, indoor or outdoor, to no more than 10 people.
“It’s a near guarantee it’s going to get worse unless we do something very dramatic to flatten the curve because we’re heading into flu season,” said Dr. Dena Grayson, an infectious disease researcher and former Florida Democratic congressional candidate.
Critics have complained that Gov. Ron DeSantis has not mandated a statewide mask ordinance as cases rise. The Republican governor, however, has repeatedly said policies in hard-hit South Florida might not make sense in the Panhandle, where the infection rate is lower.