Florida coronavirus cases rise as Hurricane Isaias approaches Florida coast

State-run COVID-19 testing sites now closed due to approaching Hurricane Isaias

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida marks the first day of August with 9,642 new coronavirus cases as emergency management officials are challenged to mitigate a pandemic while bracing for a hurricane.

The Florida Department of Health reporting Florida has now seen 480,028 total cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in March. The current positivity rate for those who tested positive for the first time is 11.08% percent.

While reporting of coronavirus deaths are delayed by days and sometimes weeks, state public health leaders say 178 people have recently died from the virus. Their deaths raise the overall count to 7,144. Florida’s death toll increased by more than 1,000 for the week with Friday marking the fourth day in a row that the state broke its daily death count record.

Across the state, nearly 8,000 people are hospitalized with severe cases of the virus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration’s Saturday report. The FDOH’s coronavirus dashboard reveals 26,972 amount of people have been hospitalized due to complications with COVID-19.

Hospitalizations for the coronavirus have been declining for the past week and a half, down from highs of more than 9.500 in the middle of last week.

As of Saturday morning, Hurricane Isaias was still making its way toward Florida. Emergency operations officials juggling both the coronavirus crisis and adjusting storm preparedness plans in the wake of the pandemic.

In a move to help prepare for the storm, Florida’s state-run COVID-19 were shut down. Public health officials say coronavirus numbers will likely see a significant drop in the coming days due to the decrease in testing.

Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed Floridians from the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, saying the state has made adjustments to evacuation plans including dedicating shelters for those showing symptoms of the virus.

Here are three things to know for today:

  • Hurricane Isaias: State-run COVID-19 testing sites closed Thursday due to the approaching storm. This will be the first time during the pandemic that Florida is in the track of a hurricane. Florida residents’ storm plans will likely look different this year due to COVID-19 concerns, including at hurricane shelters. Flagler County shelters will have separate areas for those who know they have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of the virus, according to EOC officials.
  • Rent, foreclosure reprieve continues: DeSantis has extended the moratorium on evictions for another month. The executive order was set to expire on Aug. 1. What is set to end Saturday, unless lawmakers intervene, is a federal moratorium on evictions that has shielded millions of renters. This will not impact Florida residents protected by the state order.
  • Nursing homes prepare: During a news conference in Tampa, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 100% of nursing homes had working generators and were in compliance with state regulations. One of the largest long-term care facility operators in the state, Sonata Senior Living, said they’ve adjusted evacuation plans and storm protocols amid the pandemic.

Here’s a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Central Florida:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew HospitalizationsDeaths

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