ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida inched closer to 1 million coronavirus infections Monday, with more than 999,000 people who have tested positive for the respiratory illness now since the pandemic began in March.
The Sunshine State, along with the rest of the U.S., is waiting to see if grim predictions from medical experts about a swell of new cases come true following Thanksgiving gatherings.
Gov. Ron DeSantis provided his first coronavirus-related public update in nearly a month in Kissimmee on Monday regarding the education plan for the spring and summer semesters.
Under a new executive order, school districts must have intervention plans for students who are struggling due to pandemic-related education changes. DeSantis doubled down in his stance on school closures saying “closing schools, due to coronavirus is probably the biggest public health blunder in modern American history,” referring to when all Florida schools switched to virtual learning in March.
Students returned to school Monday for the first time since the holiday, but Central Florida school districts are urging students to stay home if they tested positive for the coronavirus or if they’re exhibiting symptoms in an effort to prevent a spike in cases.
Orange, Seminole and other counties sent messages to parents before classes resumed Monday, reminding them of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
DeSantis said he has no plans for any COVID-19 restrictions.
“No lockdowns, no fines, no school closures,” DeSantis said. “No one’s losing their job because of a government dictate, nobody’s losing their livelihood to their business, that is totally off the table.”
Meanwhile, Moderna became the second pharmaceutical company to seek emergency approval of its coronavirus vaccine for deployment in the U.S. and Europe. Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.
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A panel of U.S. advisers for the CDC will meet Tuesday to vote on how initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine will be given out once one has been approved.
Experts have proposed giving the vaccine to health workers first. High priority also may be given to workers in essential industries, people with certain medical conditions and people age 65 and older.
More than 265,000 people in the U.S. alone have died from COVID-19 complications, and 1.4 million worldwide.
Below is a breakdown of Florida’s COVID-19 numbers for Monday, Nov. 30.
The Florida Department of Health reported 6,659 new cases on Monday, bringing the state’s overall total to 999,319 cases since March.
The Florida Department of Health Monday reported 98 people have recently died from COVID-19. As of Monday’s coronavirus report, a total of 18,834 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, a number that includes 237 non-resident deaths in Florida.
State health officials have always maintained that virus fatalities are often delayed in being reported to the FDOH, with some deaths not reported for a month or more.
Currently, there are 4,160 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
In total, 54,864 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from the coronavirus. The state reported 158 new hospitalizations on Monday.
The percent of positive results ranged from 5.12% to 8.49% over the past two weeks and was 8.38% for tests reported Sunday.
Below is a county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region.
|County||Cases||New Cases||Hospitalizations||New Hospitalizations||Deaths||New Deaths|
The Associated Press contributed to this story.