ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – As the next wave of students from one of the state’s counties hardest-hit by coronavirus prepares to return to the classroom, Florida tabulated another 2,251 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday.
The state also saw more than 200 new patients recently hospitalized because of the virus, with approximately 60 of them reported in Central Florida. The fluctuating number sending slight alarm as tens of thousands of students are set to return to the classroom.
Approximately 40,000 Miami-Dade County students are wrapping up online instruction Tuesday as the country’s fourth-largest school district continues with its school reopening plans. Broward County will follow suit Friday, as Miami-Dade welcomes back its final wave of students. Both counties were at one point considered the state’s coronavirus epicenter, making up a majority of virus cases in Florida.
Since the virus was first detected in the state in March, 720,125 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Gov. Ron DeSantis shut down schools mid-April, forcing districts to quickly adjust to distance learning. Friday will mark the first time since April students in all 67 Florida counties would be back in the classroom.
Concern for reopening schools stems from the possibility of an increase in cases, but the latest pediatric report from the Florida Department of Health show a minimal increase in infections among kids. The FDOH’s report, which was released Monday, reveals 59,612 children have tested positive for the virus since March. A majority of those cases were in teens between the ages of 14 and 17.
Nine children have died due to complications with coronavirus across the state. On Tuesday, the FDOH reported 59 people have recently died from COVID-19. So far, 14,945 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, that number includes 178 non-resident deaths.
State health officials have always maintained that virus fatalities are often delayed in being reported to the FDOH but some deaths are not reported for a month or more.
Though case counts have been on the decline, it is important to gauge how many people have been hospitalized due to the virus to see how the illness is impacting communities.
The state reported 229 new hospitalizations on Tuesday, meaning the state has seen a total of 45,004 patients admitted into a hospital since March in relation to COVID-19.
Local Central Florida counties saw an uptick in new COVID-19 patients, with Polk County reporting 19 recent hospitalizations.
Currently, there are 2,154 people hospitalized in Florida with the virus, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Florida’s rate for those who tested positive for the first time compared to the overall tests reported in one day saw a slight jump Tuesday. The FDOH reported the state’s daily positivity rate was 5.26%.
Public health officials say they are keeping a close eye on the state’s trend in the rate of people testing positive for the respiratory illness as flu season nears.
Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in the Central Florida region:
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Here are three things to know about the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday, Oct. 6.
- President Trump back at the White House: Tuesday marks four weeks until Election Day and after a coronavirus outbreak at the White House, the president’s reelection campaign was left in flux. After a three-night stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, President Trump returned to the White House and in an effort to reassure the American public, he waved from a balcony removing his mask later tweeting “Feeling really good!” and “Don’t be afraid of Covid.” Disclosures over the weekend that the president’s blood oxygen levels had dropped below normal levels at least twice, and that he was receiving steroid treatment typically used in more serious cases. Doctors say that Trump will continue to receive his treatments from the White House. Here’s more about what’s been revealed about the president’s illness and what questions are still left unanswered.
- CDC says COVID-19 can spread indoors: The nation’s top public health agency updated its coronavirus guidance Monday, saying the respiratory illness can spread more than 6 feet through the air especially in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the spread is uncommon, but other public health officials think it’s downplaying the possibility. Read why they think so and what they believe the public should do to protect themselves.
- Orange County CARES Act portal to reopen: In six days, Orange County residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 will once again have the opportunity to apply for assistance when the county’s CARES Act portal reopens next week. Demings announced during a news conference on Monday that the county has millions of dollars in leftover federal CARES Act money and, therefore, can begin accepting applications for another round of financial assistance on Oct. 12 and again on Oct. 24. Click here to see just how much money the county plans to allocate to applicants.