Federally backed vaccine site opens in Orlando as state reports 5,555 new COVID-19 cases

Site is open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents line up to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the new FEMA site at Valencia College on March 3, 2021. (James Gosselin, News 6)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A new federally supported coronavirus vaccination site opened Wednesday at Valencia College’s West Campus, providing 2,000 shots per day.

The Orlando FEMA site is one of four that opened in the state, with the others being in Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa.

The site also comes with two mobile units providing 500 doses each per day. Those units will go into communities that are hard to reach with less accessibility and high poverty levels. Those communities include areas in Orange, Osceola, Polk and Highlands counties.

The site will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day and is expected to remain open for at least eight weeks, according to the Orlando Police Department.

At the same time, the state released the eligibility form physicians will fill out for “extremely vulnerable” patients to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.


State officials said this form will be used across Florida starting on Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday to allow people under the age of 65 who are “extremely vulnerable” to COVID-19 to be eligible for the vaccine.

On Monday, the governor expanded that eligibility further. The list now includes firefighters, law enforcement officers and school employees who are 50 or older

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida expands vaccine access as state reports 7,075 new COVID-19 cases]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 3.


The Florida Department of Health reported 5,555 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,924,114 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 133 new virus-related deaths Wednesday, raising the death toll to 31,829. This number includes the 562 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Wednesday afternoon, there were currently 3,596 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 80,024 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 293 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 6.82% Tuesday out of 81,500 tests performed. 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 began releasing a daily report in December on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 3,174,162 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 1,773,638 people have received their second shot.

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

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

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

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. 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.