Florida reports 2,628 new coronavirus cases as layoffs loom nationwide

131 recent COVID-19 deaths reported in Florida

FILE - American Airlines ticket agent Henry Gemdron, left, works with a customer at Miami International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Miami. U.S. airlines began furloughing more than 32,000 employees on Thursday after a federal prohibition on job cuts expired. American Airlines and United Airlines said that they could reverse the furloughs if Congress and the White House quickly agree to provide billions more in taxpayer help to the embattled airline industry.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Florida health officials reported 2,628 new cases of coronavirus Thursday, beginning October with a new total of 709,144 cases since the virus was first detected in the state.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week to a still-high 837,000, evidence that the economy is struggling to sustain a tentative recovery that began this summer.

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The Labor Department’s report, released Thursday, suggests that U.S. companies are still cutting a historically high number of jobs. At least 6,700 non-union Disney World employees in Florida will be laid off in December and officials in Washington, D.C. are still struggling to reach an agreement that could prevent airlines from laying off more than 30,000 workers.

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health reported 131 people have recently died from coronavirus. These fatalities bring the state death toll up to 14,619, including 175 non-resident deaths.

Currently, there are 2,082 people hospitalized in Florida with the virus, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

The state reported 212 new hospitalizations on Thursday bringing the total to 44,320 for individuals who have been hospitalized since March because of the illness.

Florida’s rate for those who tested positive for the first time was 4.65%, compared to the overall tests reported in one day.

[READ WEDNESDAY’S REPORT: Florida health experts report nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases ]

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Here are three things to know about the coronavirus for Oct. 1:

  • Disney layoffs in Florida: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts notified the Florida unemployment department Tuesday of impeding layoffs across the theme park’s properties that includes nearly 6,700 non-union employees or 10% of its staff across the state.
  • Virus fact check: Can the coronavirus travel more than 6 feet in the air? Research indicates it can, but it’s not clear how much of the pandemic is caused by such cases. People spray liquid droplets of various sizes when they cough, sneeze, talk, sing, shout and even just breathe. The coronavirus can hitchhike on these particles.
  • Florida eviction moratorium expires: The ban on evictions in Florida expired Wednesday and instead, the state will abide by the CDC’s temporary halt in evictions nationwide. In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered that no residential evictions take place because so many Floridians were out of work as businesses shuttered to stop the spread of COVID-19. That order was extended multiple times to give residents more time to catch up on their bills, up until Wednesday when it was allowed to expire.

Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in the Central Florida region:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

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