Florida reports 36,483 COVID cases in 2 weeks as US airlines ditch masks

Voided CDC transportation mask mandate revitalizes airlines’ expectations

Passengers walk through the terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Arlington, Va. A federal judge's decision to strike down a national mask mandate was met with cheers on some airplanes but also concern about whether it's really time to end the order sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the time it took Florida to report 36,483 cases of COVID-19 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — just two weeks — the agency extended its national transportation mask mandate only to see it voided by a Florida judge days later.

After the ruling Monday, passed down by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, the Transportation Security Agency announced it would no longer enforce mask rules, though it still recommended people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings. The U.S. Justice Department filed a notice of appeal Wednesday against that ruling, but the Biden administration has not yet signaled it would ask for an emergency stay to reimpose the mandate sooner.

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U.S. airlines such as American, Delta and United now expect to make full-year profits despite a poor first quarter. Those three airlines also indicated that they would move to lift bans imposed on most people who broke mask rules.

In Orlando, following Monday’s ruling, masks are no longer required on SunRail trains, LYNX buses and Walt Disney World transportation. Greyhound, Uber and Lyft also now allow riders to go maskless and travelers flying out of Orlando International Airport can do the same.

At the same time, Dr. Raul Pino announced his resignation as director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. Pino was placed on leave in January as he was investigated by the state over an email encouraging his staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine, eventually returning to work March 11. He will be appointed director of Orange County Health Services on Tuesday, taking Yolanda Martinez’s old position, and is expected to begin working again May 2.

The World Health Organization reported Thursday the number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide continued its April decline, decreasing by 24% in just a week’s time. However, new cases declined by only 2% in the Americas, and the U.S. reported the most virus-related deaths in the world with 3,076 between April 11-17, the WHO said.

Though the country continues to grapple with the highest consumer inflation in 40 years, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday jobless claims were nearing their lowest point in 50 years, seen as a sign of hardiness under the weight of supply chain issues, Russia’s war in Ukraine and other factors.

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the CDC and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on April 8:

Cases

The CDC reported 3,631 new cases on Friday, based on daily reporting it gets from the Florida Department of Health.

There were 36,483 new coronavirus cases over the last two weeks with 15,623 reported from April 8 to 14 and 20,860 reported from April 15 to 21.

Florida has seen 5,899,188 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

The Florida Dept. of Health reported a cumulative death toll in Florida of 73,830. There were 292 fatalities recorded over the past two weeks, which we get by subtracting the number of deaths reported by DOH two weeks ago (73,538) from the current cumulative death toll.

The state stopped reporting the number of non-residents who died in Florida when the new weekly reporting method began.

Hospitalizations

The state Agency for Health Care Administration deleted its current COVID-19 hospitalization database and the state is no longer reporting how many patients have been hospitalized with the virus. However, Florida is still required to report that information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC continues to release that information online. The most recent hospital numbers show 750 adult and 11 pediatric patients in Florida.

Positivity rate

The Florida Dept. of Health reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 6.1% for the week of April 8 - 21 but did not provide how many people were tested during the past two weeks. 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.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases and new vaccination numbers between April 8 - 21.

CountyTotal cases as of April 22New cases since April 7Total people vaccinatedPercent of 5+ population vaccinated
Brevard134,233751409,35270%
Flagler22,46212978,57170%
Lake85,479518248,90769%
Marion83,604280225,33064%
Orange378,9192,2721,062,50878%
Osceola114,270629313,75383%
Polk200,797801452,55967%
Seminole104,213627323,54370%
Sumter21,960213102,40976%
Volusia117,178479349,50366%

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About the Authors:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.