Vaccinations begin at Winn-Dixie stores as Florida reports 8,351 new COVID-19 cases

Federal lawmakers continue fight over relief legislation

COVID-19 Response Team pushes to increase tracking of variants in US, discusses vaccinating seniors

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Federal Retail Pharmacy program is bringing more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to Florida through commercial pharmacies and on Thursday, Winn-Dixie stores across the state began administering shots.

According to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, stores involved include five Central Florida counties; Brevard, Lake, Marion, Sumter and Volusia.

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The grocery chain’s owner, Southern Grocers, Inc., said the stores will receive 8,100 doses in the first round of federal distribution.

Also at the federal level, debate continues over a possible third round of direct payments to Americans struggling financially because of the pandemic.

Republicans are attacking the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package as too costly and economically damaging.

Five House committees worked Wednesday on their pieces of sweeping legislation that would send $1,400 payments to some Americans. It would also provide hundreds of billions for state and local governments and to boost vaccination efforts, raise tax credits for children and increase unemployment benefits. Democratic leaders hope for House passage later this month, with Senate approval and a bill on Biden’s desk by mid-March.

At the same time, Republicans launched a series of amendments to reduce the $400 extra in weekly jobless benefits Democrats want to provide through August and exempt the smallest businesses from Democrats’ plans to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 hourly from $7.25.

The proposals signaled that Biden’s plan faces solid Republican opposition in a House and Senate where Democrats hold only a narrow majority.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: As Florida increases access to COVID-19 vaccine, state reports 7,400 new cases ]

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Feb. 11.


The Florida Department of Health reported 8,351 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,806,805 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1.


Florida reported 180 new virus-related deaths Thursday, raising the death toll to 28,871. This number includes the 489 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Thursday afternoon, there were currently 4,906 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March, 75,454 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 292 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 6.2% on Wednesday out of 134,638 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 afternoon, 2,165,911 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 891,741 people have received their second shot.

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

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces 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.