Florida reports 4,727 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge precautions on St. Patrick’s Day

59 new deaths reported Wednesday from COVID-19 in Florida

Crowds in Jacksonville Beach on Saturday
Crowds in Jacksonville Beach on Saturday (WJXT)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Throughout the month of March, Florida has reported fewer than 7,000 new daily cases and Wednesday was no different.

It seems the state of the coronavirus is improving in Florida as hospitalizations and the number of new cases reported daily are decreasing. However, the state continues to report around 100 new people die from the virus each day.

With this data improving, health leaders are asking Floridians to not let their guard down during spring break. With warmer temperatures tempting people to gather outside, public health officials are keeping a close eye on new virus infections in the weeks that follow this break from school as trends show coronavirus tends to spread during a vacation season or holiday.

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“I think that our coastal towns will see larger numbers of people coming to celebrate spring break, and that’s always a concern you also saw what happened in Miami Beach, during the weekend with unruly crowds and we hope that will not be the case here,” Pino said.

It was a year ago on St. Patrick’s Day Gov. Ron DeSantis shut down bars and nightclubs for what was initially supposed to be a 30 day period. Since then, such businesses could operate if they sell food and follow state and county coronavirus guidelines including mask-wearing policies and social distancing guidelines. Health leaders urge that if Floridians choose to partake in festivities to at least mask up to help prevent a spike in cases.

While health leaders are still urging patience and caution during the pandemic, the governor is already anticipating how he’ll use billions of dollars Florida is expected to receive in federal coronavirus relief funds.

DeSantis said Tuesday he expects the state to receive somewhere between $9 and $10 billion and has plans on how to spend $4.1 billion from American Rescue Plan allocations.

Part of his plan includes upgrading Florida’s online unemployment system, offering reemployment assistance and giving $1,000 checks to first responders. He outlined a few other key points, you can learn about them here.

“We know that the pandemic put an awful lot of strain on our first responders, EMTs, sworn law enforcement, firefighters and so we believe that we should recognize their sacrifice over the last year,” he said.

DeSantis said the remaining $6 billion or so will be “left up to the legislative discretion.”

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 4,852 new COVID-19 cases as health officials ask public to be vigilant during spring break]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 16.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 4,727 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,989,024 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 59 new virus-related deaths Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 33,120. This number includes the 616 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were currently 3,007 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 82,786 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 202 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 5.57% Tuesday out of 84,910 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.

Vaccinations

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

FDOH reports 2,375,690 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 4,464,035 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

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

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard35,820-202,10097842
Flagler6,32835345193-1
Lake25,754761,3297591-3
Marion28,485471,87819003
Orange118,9022752,492141,1501
Osceola38,283781,31914711
Polk59,2641534,574121,203-1
Seminole28,595921,17124480
Sumter8,4223053052420
Volusia36,1901431,86896951

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