ORLANDO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Orlando Tuesday meeting with medical experts about the ongoing pandemic as the Florida Department of Health reported 191 fatalities from the virus, the most reported since the virus arrived in Florida.
The DOH reported 9,230 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total of all confirmed coronavirus cases since the disease was first detected in the state on March 1 to 441,977. The positivity rate for people who tested positive for the first time compared to the overall numbers of people tested on Monday was 11.69%, according to the DOH.
The latest death toll record set Tuesday is an unfortunate trend the state continues to see as it breaks its own case count, hospitalization and death records on a weekly basis now since early June.
The new deaths reported Tuesday included 186 resident fatalities and 5 non-resident deaths. Since March, 6,240 people have died in Florida from the virus. The state data on the COVID-19 death toll is often delayed by up to two weeks.
The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration dashboard, as of 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, reported that 9,019 people are currently receiving treatment at medical facilities across the state due to complications from COVID-19.
Here are four things to know for Tuesday, July 28:
- Vaccine trials underway in Florida: University of Miami researchers are enrolling 1,000 people in the next round of clinical trials that are hoped to lead to a vaccine that can be provided to Americans later this year or early next year. The university is one of 89 sites across the country participating in trials of a vaccine co-developed by Massachusetts-based company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. About 30,000 people are expected to participate in the clinical trials in the coming months.
- MLB outbreak: More than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19, stranding the team in Philadelphia and raising new questions about MLB’s attempts to conduct a season. The coronavirus outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. “This could put it in danger,” said Fauci. “I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis.”
- Kids and coronavirus: On Monday, DeSantis met with Vice President Pence in Miami to unveil the vaccine trial. After the announcement, in an interview with New 6, Pence repeated the unconfirmed theory that children are at low-risk for the virus. “One thing we know for sure and that is the risk of coronavirus to the kids is very low. It’s very low. And the only thing we know for sure is that there’s a real cost to children not being in the classroom receiving in-person learning,” Pence said. Doctors say it’s still too early to determine whether children are at no or low risk. A majority of the 31,150 cases in children across the state were reported in teens, between 14-17 years old, according to the Department of Health. Juvenile cases make up abut 20% of the state’s total, which now exceeds 441,000
- Early voting amid COVID-19: Early voting for the 2020 Florida primary begins in some Central Florida counties as early as Aug. 3. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Supervisor of Elections are suggesting people request a vote-by-mail ballot but if you do vote in person, here’s when you can and what you can expect at the polls during this unusual time.
Across the Central Florida region, new deaths were reported in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties. Several counties in the region contributed to the record death toll reported on Tuesday. Brevard County reported 20 deaths and Polk reported 16 fatalities.
DeSantis hosted roundtable discussion with doctors in Orlando Tuesday at AdventHealth at 12:30 p.m. During the conversation, the governor and health officials both said that patient outcomes in the state have been better than in some parts of the country and they’re starting to see trends indicating that hospitalizations could be declining.
“I do think though it’s important to know, you hear some of the trends, obviously we got a lot more work to do but I think people are doing the right things, I think we’re going to continue to see some positive trends,” DeSantis said. “At least that’s my hope.”
Here’s a breakdown of coronavirus cases in Central Florida by county:
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