Florida surpasses 2 million COVID-19 cases, school districts reviewing new CDC guidelines

CDC said on Friday it is relaxing its guidelines when it comes to social distancing in schools.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The department of health reports there have been 2,004,362 positive cases of the coronavirus in Florida since the beginning of the pandemic.

Spring break is almost over for most Central Florida students and many will return to the classroom on Monday with new CDC recommendations in place.

There has been a slew of announcements and vaccine eligibility expansion in the past week. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know about coronavirus heading into the weekend.

  • ORLANDO FEMA SITE UPDATE: The COVID-19 vaccination site at the west campus at Valencia College in Orlando will only issue second doses of the coronavirus vaccine starting Wednesday, according to the Florida Emergency Management.
  • New vaccine age groups: The vaccine eligibility expansion for 50 and older begins Monday across Florida at all locations. According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are about 3 million Florida residents between 50 and 60 years old.
  • 40+ for Orange County Convention Center site: Additionally, if you get a vaccine at the Orange County Convention Center site, that age requirement also drops on Monday but down to 40 years and older, per a new order from Mayor Jerry Demings. Those appointments will be available to book starting Monday. If you do choose to go to the OCCC site, here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your appointment and getting your vaccine there.
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccines are coming: It’s been more than two weeks since Florida’s first shipment of the single dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. The governor said Friday Florida will get 42,000 more doses of the vaccine next week. This is much less than the state’s first shipment of 175,000 but it comes down to supply delays. There is currently no timeline when Florida will get it’s third shipment of J&J.
  • 3 feet apart for desks: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reduced the social distancing recommendations for students in school from 6 feet to 3 feet. The revised COVID-19 recommendations represent a turn away from the 6-foot standard that has forced some schools to remove desks, stagger scheduling and take other steps to keep children away from one another. The CDC said 6 feet of distance should still be maintained in common areas, such as school lobbies, and when masks can’t be worn, such as when eating. Here’s what else the new guidelines recommend.
  • Vaccine hunting: Across the state and country, vaccine hunters have been calling up pharmacies and other vaccination locations hoping to score shots that went unused so they don’t go to waste. When and if there are leftover COVID-19 vaccine shots at Publix stores come the end of the day, those doses are given to employees rather than being thrown out.

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 20.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 5,040 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,004,362 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 64 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 33,337. This number includes the 624 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Saturday afternoon, there were currently 2,853 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 83,381 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 192 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 7.08% Thursday out of 112,184 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 2,674,975 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 Saturday, 4,819,429 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard36,142912,11967890
Flagler6,401183481930
Lake25,943481,34315930
Marion28,609451,88919040
Orange119,8713282,522101,1612
Osceola38,5771011,33044730
Polk59,6541124,635301,2180
Seminole28,892851,17754490
Sumter8,4891753512420
Volusia36,5901391,89006971

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