Tampa looks to curb COVID-19 spread at Super Bowl as Florida reports 11,326 new cases

Outdoor mask mandate issued ahead of big game

Raymond James Stadium decked out for the Super Bowl (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite limited capacity inside, the Super Bowl is likely to draw crowds to the Tampa-area and the mayor is looking to curb the potential spread of the coronavirus among those who turn out for the event.

Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order on Wednesday calling for masks to be worn in neighborhoods around Raymond James Stadium and in other tourist hotspots.

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The order says those not wearing a mask could face a fine of up to $500. It will remain in place until Feb. 13.

While Tampa’s works to protect public health, Florida’s governor is touting the state’s “fiscal health.

“Florida also led and continues to lead on protecting the livelihoods of our people,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis as he rolled out his proposed 2021-2022 budget. “While so many other states kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up. We believe every job is essential.”

DeSantis said he is once again focusing on teachers’ salaries, including $550 million in his proposed spending plan for teacher pay raises, an increase of $50 million, to continue raising the minimum K-12 teacher salary to $47,500.

The total budget presented by DeSantis for fiscal year 2021-2022 is $96.6 billion, an increase of $4.3 billion over the current fiscal year. DeSantis said, however, $2.6 billion accounts for various expenditures related to the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response and its impacts on Floridians.

To find out if you’re eligible for a vaccine in Florida, click here.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Central Florida seniors targeted for vaccination as state reports 8,281 new COVID-19 cases ]

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 28


The Florida Department of Health reported 11,326 new cases on Thursday bringing the state’s overall total to 1,687,594 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.


Florida reported 207 new virus-related deaths Thursday, raising the death toll to 26,456. This number includes the 421 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Thursday afternoon, there were currently 6,567 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March, 71,535 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 380 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Wednesday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 7.7% Wednesday out of 147,177 tests reported to the state.

Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.


The Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

As of Thursday, 1,567,152 people have been vaccinated in Florida. The FDOH also reports that 247,330 people have received their second shot.

The state was originally reporting how many people were overdue for their second vaccination but has since removed that data point to align with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

[Register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida here]

See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew Deaths

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates produces News 6 at 5:30 and the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.