After busy weekend at FEMA vaccine sites, Florida reports nearly 3,500 new COVID-19 cases

Vaccine eligibility expansion to 60+ happens March 15

Officials begin using Johnson & Johnson vaccine at FEMA inoculation sites

ORLANDO, Fla. – There were long lines this past weekend at the FEMA vaccination site at Valencia College’s West Campus in Orlando and others around the state.

The site was able to administer 3,250 shots both on Saturday and Sunday, an increase from the 3,000 shots normally given at the facility.

All vaccine sites are about to get even busier next week after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday he is expanding vaccine eligibility to residents 60 years and older beginning March 15. This will open up vaccines to millions of people in the Sunshine State.

Additionally, there could soon be more groups who are eligible to get a vaccine. News 6 spoke to a UCF professor who said he was vaccinated Saturday, though he’s not considered a K-12 school employee and does not fit into the current eligibility categories.

“All we know is that we had friends who were university faculty who got vaccinated who told us about it,” Dr. Tim Brown said. “We went over -- didn’t hide anything --told them flat out we were university educators and they got us processed and got our first dose.”

News 6 reached out to the governor’s office and the Department of Health on Sunday for further clarification but did not hear back in time for this report.

The Orange County Convention Center vaccination site is allowing professors to register and now also medically vulnerable individuals with proper documentation.

There are also now more people in Florida who have been inoculated than total cases of the novel coronavirus since March 2020. Vaccines begin in earnest in late 2020 and in the first week of the new year.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 4,100 new cases of COVID-19 as mass vaccination efforts continue]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 8.


The Florida Department of Health reported 3,494 new cases on Monday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,948,307 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 83 new virus-related deaths Monday, raising the death toll to 32,349. This number includes the 585 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Monday afternoon, there were currently 3,332 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 81,015 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 61 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Monday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 5.94% Sunday out of 58,773 tests performed. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. 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 Monday afternoon, 3,590,686 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 1,959,490 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 after either completing their two-shot series with a second shot or receiving a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine.

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.