ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health reported a record number of 217 new coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday, as Central Florida county leaders work to prepare residents for a potential tropical storm adjusting preparation plans in the wake of the pandemic.
The latest numbers from the FDOH show 216 Floridians have died due to complications with the virus, the health department also reporting 1 non-resident death, shattering the state record of most deaths reported within a 24-hour period. The state previously broke this record Tuesday. The newly recorded deaths brings the state death toll to 6,457. Public health leaders note the state data on the COVID-19 death toll is often delayed by up to two weeks.
The health department also reported 9,446 new COVID-19 infections across the state. The state’s total of all confirmed coronavirus cases since the disease was first detected in the state on March 1 is now 451,423. The positivity rate for people who tested positive for the first time compared to the overall numbers of people tested on Tuesday is now 12.26%, up from Tuesday’s statistic, according to the DOH.
As of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration dashboard 8,744 people are currently receiving treatment at medical facilities across the state in relation to the virus, a drop of 275 patients compared to Tuesday’s numbers.
Here are three things to know for Wednesday, July 29:
Florida could be impacted by a tropical storm: A disturbance in the Caribbean is still expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Isaias as early as Wednesday as it continues on a projected path toward Florida.
Emergency officials in Seminole County are working to prepare residents during the pandemic. Seminole County started it’s free self-serve sandbag program Wednesday. Due to social distancing and to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, residents are required to bring their own shovels to fill and load their own sandbags.
Similar measures are in place for Orange County’s sandbag program, with the additional requirement that all residents must wear a mask. Each resident that participates in Orange County’s sandbag program will receive 10 bags, disposable face masks and hand sanitizer to add to their hurricane kits. The final day of the program is Thursday, county leaders have not mentioned if they will extend operations in the wake of the possible tropical storm.
NBA is back: After a postponed season, canceled games and a delayed draft, the NBA season is set to resume Thursday at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World. Franchise teams, staff, coaches and athletes have been preparing to restart the season since early July as teams arrived in Orlando and settled into their new home now deemed the Bubble. Those in the Bubble are not allowed to leave Walt Disney World, visit friends or family for risk of being exposed to COVID-19. The athletes essentially undergo daily coronavirus testing, Dr. Raul Pino with the FDOH in Orange County says the county’s data set does not include the increased testing numbers from the sports teams now residing in the Orlando-area.
Gov. Ron DeSantis may extend evictions ban: While in Orlando Tuesday for a coronavirus roundtable, the governor said he will soon have an update regarding the statewide eviction ban. The moratorium was implemented in April and allows people to avoid getting evicted during the pandemic. The temporary ban is set to expire Saturday.
Back-to-school: Central Florida counties are set to begin the 2020-2021 academic year in less than a month with some district officials settling the final details.
Lake County parents have until the end of the day to select a learning option for their child. School leaders in Polk and Volusia counties announced Tuesday they will require face coverings on campus or on district-provided transportation. Sumter County’s school district also decided Tuesday to delay the school start date to Aug. 24.
News 6 is keeping up with all the back-to-school changes. To see each district’s reopening plan, visit clickorlando.com/backtoschool.
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.
Supervisor of Elections Offices have also been preparing for the Aug. 8 primary implementing new health and safety protocols. Here’s what you can expect at the polls during this unusual time.
Here’s a breakdown of coronavirus cases in Central Florida by county:
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