ORLANDO, Fla. – On Saturday, the Florida Department of Health again reported less than 7,000 new COVID-19 cases.
The Florida Department of Health reported 6,352 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, bringing the state’s running total since March to 569,637 cases.
The state also announced 204 new fatalities, bringing Florida’s death toll from the virus up to 9,480. That number includes 9,345 residents and 135 non-residents who died in Florida. New COVID-19 deaths are often delayed in reporting to the state DOH and those new deaths could have occurred within the past few weeks.
The positivity rate, which represents the number of people who tested positive for the first time compared to the overall number of tests reported by the DOH for the day prior was 7.71%.
Health officials agree the rate should be under 10% to show cases are on the decline.
Many people who test positive for COVID-19 will have mild or no symptoms at all, which is why it is important to monitor hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the virus.
As of Saturday morning, there were 5,693 patients currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Florida, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration. The Florida Department of Health reported 506 new hospitalizations on Friday, bringing the overall total to 33,661 since March.
Here are three things to know about coronavirus in Central Florida and across the U.S. for Saturday:
- Orange County Schools suggests changes to prevent COVID-19: On Monday the Orange County School Board will have an emergency meeting to discuss recommendations made by the district’s new Medical Advisory Committee regarding the reopening of schools. The meeting called just days before in-person instruction begins in Orange County on Aug. 21. During the committee meeting, the group of doctors, nurses, and hospital leaders agreed to recommend face-to-face learning starting on Aug. 21 is reasonable, with caveats. To read more about the changes being made at Orange County schools, click or tap here.
- Florida’s educators’ lawsuit: On Thursday, lawsuits filed by the Florida Education Association, the Orange County teachers union and a parent were combined. The unions are seeking a temporary injunction “to stop the reopening of schools until it is safe to do so” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The state had motioned to dismiss the lawsuit; however, on Friday morning a judge denied the motion to dismiss. To hear more about the lawsuit, click or tap here.
- Fall sports begin: The FHSAA board of directors voted Friday to allow schools to begin practices for fall sports in late August. In a 11-5 vote, the FHSAA decided to keep August 24 as the earliest date teams can start practicing. Many school districts in Central Florida, however, will start later than that. To see when Fall sports may start in your county, click or tap here.
Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases across Central Florida as of Aug. 14:
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