ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida surpassed 500,000 positive coronavirus cases as the school year approaches and students prepare to hit the books either in-person or remotely.
The Florida Department of Health reported 5,409 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in Florida to 502,739. The total number is a running total since the virus was first detected in Florida in March.
Over the weekend, the state’s positivity rate dropped below 10% for the first time since late June. On Wednesday, the positivity rate for the number of people who tested positive for the first time, compared to the overall tests, rose slightly to 10.88%.
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DeSantis praised the numbers on Monday, saying the dropping positivity rate is a promising sign in Florida’s fight against COVID-19.
The governor said to continue on this trend, there has to be more efficient testing.
While the reporting of coronavirus deaths are delayed by days and sometimes weeks, state and public health leaders say an additional 225 people have recently died from the virus. Their deaths raise the overall count to 7,751, that number includes 124 non-residents who died in Florida.
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Across the state, nearly 7,622 people are hospitalized with severe cases of the virus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration’s report. The FDOH’s coronavirus dashboard reveals 28,573 amount of people have been hospitalized due to complications with COVID-19 since March, an increase by 621 patients since the last time the state reported hospitalizations 24 hours ago.
Here are three things to know for today, August 5:
- Symptomatic testing lanes: In an effort to reduce the turnaround time for results, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that all state-supported COVID-19 testing sites will soon have lanes specifically for people experiencing symptoms. With more symptomatic testing lanes across the state, the governor said those who are feeling ill should be able to get their results in two or three days. These changes will take effect Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center.
- Seminole school changes: As of Tuesday evening, of the 4,300 students enrolled in the third-largest school in the state of Florida, only 1,775 chose the face-to-face options. Seminole High School principal Jordan Rodriguez took News 6 on a tour to show how some teachers are already setting up their classrooms to keep students safe. To get an in-depth look at how Seminole schools will run this fall, click or tap here.
- Lake County rapid testing: Before the academic year begins, Lake County Schools is offering students and staff the opportunity to take a COVID-19 test for free and receive results in about 10 minutes. Leaders said they also hope that parents will not try to hide their child’s illness by giving them a pain reliever to break their fever and then sending them to school. The rapid tests will be done utilizing a finger prick and will provide results within 10 minutes.
Parents of Central Florida students can find everything they need to know about their district’s back-to-school plan at ClickOrlando.com/backtoschool.
Here’s a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Central Florida:
New deaths were reported in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.
Orange County reached 250 deaths as of Wednesday and Seminole reported a record number of new deaths with 16, the last record was set on July 31.
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