ORLANDO, Fla. – As Tropical Storm Isaias brings rain and strong winds to Florida’s east coast, the department of health recorded 7,104 new coronavirus cases Sunday.
The new numbers send the state’s overall total to 487,132 infections.
Sunday’s 9.28% positivity rate marked the first time the state has recorded a positivity rate under 10% since June 24.
Coronavirus concerns adjusting sheltering protocols as the National Hurricane Center downgraded alerts along Central Florida’s east coast, replacing the hurricane warning with a tropical storm warning instead.
Volusia County leaders opened shelters Saturday, announcing they’ll be operating at reduced capacity as emergency management officials advised people to do their best to shelter in place.
In a news conference Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said if conditions worsen, the state has prepared for hotels to act as COVID-19 shelters, housing evacuees who may have or show symptoms of the virus. He said a hospital in Brevard County moved its COVID-19 patients to a different medical facility in an effort to prepare for any potential impacts Isaias may bring
The adjusted storm protocols and added physical distancing are a result of the state and localities dealing with dual crisis response.
Across the state, 27,150 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 there have been 7,990 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized across the state.
While reporting of coronavirus deaths are delayed by days and sometimes weeks, state public health leaders say 62 people have recently died after contracting the virus. Their deaths raise the overall count to 7,206. Though the state reported a steady number of cases around the 9,000 mark, it’s death toll saw a disheartening trend.
Coronavirus deaths increased by more than 1,100 last week, Florida reporting records for its daily death count four times in the seven-day period.
Saturday evening, Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm while still making its way toward Florida.
In a move to help prepare for the storm, Florida’s state-run COVID-19 test sites 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. Site organizers say they will reopen after the storm passes and when it is safe to do so.
Here’s a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Central Florida:
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