Florida reports 89,119 COVID cases as Pfizer submits updated booster for FDA approval
Pfizer asked U.S. regulators to approve its combination COVID-19 vaccine that adds protection against the newest omicron strains after the Food and Drug Administration ordered the minds behind the vaccine to tweak their shots.
Florida reports 120,018 new COVID cases as CDC drops quarantine, social distancing from guidelines
The agency dropped quarantine and social distancing recommendations from its COVID-19 guidelines, what officials said was spurred by estimates that 95% of Americans 16 and up — whether from vaccinations or infections — now have some level of immunity to the virus.
Tropics are bubbling, third named storm on the way?
In the Central Atlantic there is an area of disorganized weather. The National Hurricane Center is giving this area a 30% chance of formation in the next 48 hours, as well as a 30% chance of development in the next five days. The official forecast is for it to move to the north over cooler waters and an otherwise unfavorable environment. If it does end up becoming a named system, it will be named Cristobal. This would be the third named system of the season and the season does not officially start until June 1.
Heres what NASA astronauts are doing between launch attempts
SpaceX and NASA will possibly try again as soon as Saturday at 3:22 p.m., if the weather cooperates. After launch, Behnken and Hurley are bound for the International Space Station where they will spend one to four months before returning to Earth. But with two days between launch attempts, whats an astronaut to do while they wait to go to space? Heres what SpaceX astronauts listened to on their way to the launch pad]Behnken shared a photo on social media of that new tradition a day before the first SpaceX launch attempt. Between launch days, Lindgren said the astronauts are getting briefings from SpaceX and NASA about the health of the Falcon 9 rocket and the weather.
WATCH LIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis holds news conference with emergency management director
BOCA RATON, Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis will hold a news conference Friday afternoon outside of a Home Depot store in Boca Raton. DeSantis will be joined by Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz at 12:15 p.m., according to a release sent by the governors office. It was not immediately clear what the governor would be discussing. News 6 will carry this news conference live at 12:15 p.m.
Florida announces 651 more COVID-19 cases, 45 deaths
Cases of coronavirus continue to be reported in Florida as the state pushes forward with reopening measures under Gov. As of Thursday afternoon, the FDOH reported 651 new cases of COVID-19, as well as 45 new deaths since approximately the same time Wednesday. This beings the total number of cases of COVID-19 reported in Florida since it was first detected in the state on March 1 to 53,285, as well as 2,364 deaths. Roughly 41 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the beginning of March when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic become pronounced. You can read the weekly unemployment report from the DOL here.
What will college learning look like this fall? Florida leaders to discuss plans
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Florida Board of Governors is expected to meet Thursday in Tallahassee to discuss the reopening of universities in Florida. Officials are expected to discuss several options for the fall semester, including the possibility of having a mix of online and in-person classes. However, officials with the University of Central Florida have said they are looking to shift more classes online and reduce classroom capacities. Leaders there say in-person classes will resume in August, but the school will go back to online learning after Thanksgiving. Officials say the move is intended to reduce the chances of an outbreak from students who travel during the holiday break.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex reopens days ahead of historic launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex reopened on Thursday after closing more than two months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex"It's a little hot, but we're fine and I appreciate everybody being really careful so that we can come and still learn things," visitor Holly Macmillan said. With limited offerings, the visitor complex has reduced ticket prices to $30, which also includes a complimentary ticket to return in 2021. Rocket launch viewing inside Kennedy Space Center remains closed, but guests will be allowed to watch a launch from inside the visitor complex. [MORE: Calm under pressure: 2 NASA astronauts prepare to return glory of human spaceflight to America | Heres how the weather could impact the historic astronaut launch]
Here are 9 things you should know ahead of SpaceXs historic launch
Elon Musks SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule will make that historic achievement. With SpaceX, NASA will be paying about $55 million a seat to fly NASA astronauts, according to a NASA Office of Inspector General report. Countdown Dress Rehearsal CompleteToday, @NASA astronauts @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken participated in a dress rehearsal of the launch day events. The last president to attend an astronauts launch from Florida was President Bill Clinton. NASA also recently selected SpaceXs Starship, along with several other commercial companies, to fly NASA astronauts to the moon under the Artemis program.
Heres when Disney, SeaWorld want to open their Orlando theme parks
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Some of the biggest theme parks in Orlando could open in just a matter of weeks. On Wednesday, leaders from Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando presented plans to Orange Countys Economic Recovery Task Force detailing how they plan to safely start accepting guests again after being closed for more than two months to stop the spread of COVID-19. If that happens, SeaWorld would be the first of the two to open its parks. SeaWorld Orlando president Kyle Miller said the company would like SeaWorld and Aquatica to reopen on June 11. Exactly one month later is when Disney is looking to start accepting guests again its Orlando properties, according to senior vice president of operations at Walt Disney World resort Jim MacPhee.
How News 6 plans to capture historic launch views
COCOA BEACH, Fla. Armed with some of the industrys best equipment and innovative technology, News 6 is capturing SpaceXs historic launch off Central Floridas Space Coast from all angles. If the launch is successful, SpaceX would be the first private company to send humans into orbit and onto the International Space Station. Meteorologist Candace Campos gave us a glimpse of what News 6 crews are using from Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, which is approximately 16 miles from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. Campos is pinpointing the launch forecast ahead of Spacex Crew Dragon's first crewed mission. Get live launch updates here.
For launch spectators, storms more worrisome than virus
The two astronauts are set to travel on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)TITUSVILLE, Fla. For the spectators gathered along the Space Coast on Wednesday for an astronaut launch, the rumbling thunder and darkening clouds were more worrisome than any pandemic. They turned out to watch the first launch with astronauts from Florida in almost a decade, and the first by a private company, SpaceX. About half of the spectators at the Titusville park wore masks as encouraged by health officials to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. I wanted them to see the flip side and get to see the next era of space travel," said Gatz, who lives about an hour away in Deltona.
CDC warns COVID-19 antibody tests can be inaccurate
ORLANDO, Fla. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines that question the accuracy of Covid-19 antibody tests. The tests, also called serologic tests, are supposed to determine if someone has been infected with the virus in the past, but they can be wrong up to half the time according to newly released guidelines on the CDCs website. Serologic testing should not be used to determine immune status in individuals until the presence, durability and duration of immunity is established, according to the CDC. In other words, less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies, according to the CDC. "Test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace, according to the CDC.
Practice makes perfect: SpaceX to try again Saturday for first astronaut launch from Florida
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. Floridas weather wasnt kind to SpaceX Wednesday as Elon Musks company attempted to break the dry spell in American astronaut launches from the Space Coast. From the start, dark heavy clouds loomed over NASAs Kennedy Space Center and Air Force weather officials said there was a 50% chance SpaceX would have good launch conditions for the Falcon 9 rocket. Countdown coverage from SpaceX and NASA included multiple celebrity appearances, from afar, and live commentary from NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin as well as SpaceX and NASA employees. When it does happen, the liftoff will mark the first time since 2011 NASA astronauts have launched from Florida. The 45th Weather Squadron is predicting a 60% chance of favorable launch weather Saturday.
Spectators vow to return Saturday for next SpaceX launch attempt
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. Immediately after SpaceX scrubbed Wednesdays scheduled launch of two astronauts to the International Space Station, many rain-soaked spectators lining the Indian River vowed to return for the next attempt this weekend. We prepared ourselves (for the scrub), said Susan Cullom, who traveled with her family from Wesley Chapel to witness the historic launch. Since Marburger remains furloughed from his job due to the pandemic, he hoped to catch the launch with other spectators along the Indian River. [READ MORE: How News 6 plans to capture historic launch views | What happens if NASA astronauts need to abort?] I saw the first launch when I was four years old and I saw the last launch in 2011, Ferris said.
Experts: 2 to 3 years for economic recovery in Central Florida hospitality industry
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Orange County was on par for a record year in tourist development tax dollars, according to comptroller Phil Diamond. CEO of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, Richard Maladecki, said hotels and its workers aren't in the same boat. "The state of the Central Florida lodging industry is devastating... just devastating," said Maladecki. He encourages locals to help in the recovery of the hospitality industry by taking staycations. Budget talks are expected to begin in July where Orange County commissioners will decide whether or not theyll dip into any of those reserves.
More than 900,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered in Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. More than 900,000 coronavirus tests have been administered in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health. The DOH reports 51,700 COVID-19 tests have come back positive. [RELATED: Florida reports 879 new cases of coronavirus after weekend of large gatherings despite pandemic]This does not mean 900,000 people have taken a COVID-19 test in Florida. [RELATED: Trust Index: Its still not clear how many people have been tested for COVID-19 in Florida]If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 the Florida Department of Health recommends the patient goes into a two week isolation period. [RELATED: UPDATE: See Floridas curve when it comes to coronavirus cases]The Department of Health reports 5.7% of coronavirus tests administered in Florida have come back positive.
Worry, haste, retail therapy: What have we bought and why?
Millions of people have helped online retail sales surge as consumer spending fell off rapidly when businesses shut down. She's among millions who have helped online retail sales surge as consumer spending fell off rapidly when businesses shut down. In the U.S., retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened stores and weighed down a tanking economy. Measured year over year, online sales surged 21.6%. It's panic on lots of levels, said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail, a global consulting firm specializing in retail strategy and shopper insights.
Miami Dolphins owner: There definitely will be an NFL season
MIAMI Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he's confident the NFL will play in 2020, with or without spectators. I think there definitely will be a football season this year, Ross said Tuesday during an interview on CNBC. I dont think a lot of people realize it until they no longer have it. Certainly the NFL, I think, will be ready to go. Weve done a lot of things down in Miami," Ross said.
Orlando serving as only test city for KFCs new chicken sandwich
Published: May 26, 2020, 10:59 am Updated: May 26, 2020, 3:51 pmORLANDO, Fla. KFC is testing a new, premium chicken sandwich. The KFC Chicken Sandwich replaces the fast-food chains Crispy Colonel sandwich. The new sandwich has a larger, extra crispy chicken filet on a buttered brioche bun, and its topped with pickles and spicy or classic mayonnaise. If successful, KFC could quickly roll out the new chicken sandwich at all 4,000 of its U.S. locations. Complete list of locations:6800 W. New Hwy 441, Mount Dora, Florida 327576217 International Road, Orlando, Florida, 32819502 S. Alafaya Trail Orlando, Florida5200 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, Florida4466 Pleasant Hill Road, Poinciana, Florida3601 S. Orlando Drive, Sanford, Florida2882 N. Hiawassee Road, Orlando, Florida1130 W. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida5780 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, Florida11302 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida510 U.S. Hwy 27Clermont, Florida5680 W. US Highway 192, Kissimmee, Florida4250 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, Florida10825 E. Colonial, Orlando, Florida3009 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney World may soon unveil reopening plans amid coronavirus pandemic
ORLANDO, Fla. Walt Disney World this week could reveal when it will try to reopen its Florida theme parks. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he believes the company would present its reopening plan sometime this week to the countys Economic Recovery Task Force. Disney was among the first theme parks to begin closing on March 17. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said in previous interviews that U.S. parks will likely require much of the same from both cast members and guests. | Get glimpse at park reopening plans]To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.
Florida reports 879 new cases of coronavirus after weekend of large gatherings despite pandemic
ORLANDO, Fla. On a rainy Memorial Day in Florida, state health officials reported 879 new cases of the novel coronavirus following a holiday weekend that brought massive gatherings to Sunshine State beaches despite an ongoing global pandemic. Florida reported 19 new deaths Monday, bringing the state death toll to 2,252 as nationwide deaths near 100,000. Florida coronavirus deaths face significant delays in reporting, according to the DOH, up to two weeks and could be more than the overall total on the state dashboard. Since March, 9,424 people with severe cases of the virus have required hospitalization. To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.
Countdown to launch: Watch live views of SpaceX Falcon 9, Crew Dragon at Kennedy Space Center
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Ahead of SpaceXs Demo-2 launch with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, launch fans can see live views of the Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center leading up to the historic countdown. [CHOOSE THE VIEW: ClickOrlando.com Watch Party Page]On News 6 and ClickOrlando.coms watch party page youll have a one-of-a-kind viewing experience of the historic NASA and SpaceX launch, which will send astronauts back into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011. [WATCH LIVE: News 6]SpaceX is set to launch the Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday. The ClickOrlando.com watch party page has several unique views of the rocket on the pad and will also include the News 6 virtual watch party in the hours leading up to the launch. Subscribe to a weekly newsletter to receive the latest in space news directly to your inbox here.
Save money on these items starting Friday during Floridas hurricane sales tax holiday
Starting Friday, Floridians can save on hurricane supplies under a sales tax holiday signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. The sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies will run to June 4 on items such as batteries, generators, weather radios and fuel cans. Qualifying items include:Reusable ice packs for $10 or lessAny portable self-powered light source (candles, flashlights, lanterns) for $20 or lessAny gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers for $25 or lessBatteries, including rechargeable batteries, listed sizes only (excluding automobile and boat batteries) for $30 or lessCoolers and ice chests for $30 or lessBungee cords for $50 or lessGround anchor systems for $50 or lessRadios (two-way, weather band) for $50 or lessRatchet straps for $50 or lessTarps for $50 or lessTie-down kits for $50 or lessVisqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting for $50 or less
Masked students? UCF outlines big changes under reopening plan
ORLANDO, Fla. The University of Central Florida is preparing to reopen for the fall semester, but with some big changes. News 6 saw signs posted on buildings around campus encouraging students to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. He said he did not imagine his freshman year would end with taking online classes at home. Also part of the universitys reopening proposal is planning for hybrid learning with a mix of face-to-face and online classes. UCF is the largest university in Florida, with more than 69,000 students, according to the schools website.
Fun Spot to reopen ahead of Memorial Day weekend
ORLANDO, Fla. Fun Spot, which has been pushing to be allowed to reopen after its extended coronavirus closure, will be allowed to do just that in time for Memorial Day weekend. During an Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting on Monday, CEO John Arie, Jr. said he was hoping to be allowed to open Friday. pic.twitter.com/ZUdqoE5Yhj Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings (@OCFLMayor) May 21, 2020John Chidester, the vice president of marketing for Fun Spot America, said he expects a good turnout this weekend. For example, every other row on rides will be empty and the park will operate at 50% capacity to begin with. Shortly after Fun Spots reopening announcement, Universal Orlando sent out an alert notifying guests that its parks would soon begin operating.
Volusia County officials urge beach safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. Volusia County officials held a news conference Friday at the Emergency Operations Center and covered updates in regards to COVID-19, including those related to Volusia County beaches for the holiday weekend. With 47 miles of beach, officials are urging beach-goers to stay in a group of six or less. Captain Tammy Malphurs with The Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue team says rip current conditions are expected to last through the holiday weekend. County officials said that there have been around seven new cases a day for the last 14 days. Volusia County has had 36 deaths related to the coronavirus since the disease was detected in the state on March 1.
President Trump calls on churches to reopen this weekend
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON President Donald Trump on Friday labeled churches and other houses of worship as essential" and called on governors nationwide to let them reopen this weekend even though some areas remain under coronavirus lockdown. Asked what authority Trump might have to supersede governors, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she wouldn't answer a theoretical question. White evangelical Christians have been among the president's most loyal supporters, and the White House has been careful to attend to their concerns throughout the crisis. The discrimination that has been occurring against churches and houses of worship has been shocking," he said in a statement.
OCPS shows what classrooms and bus seating charts could look like when students return to school
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Orange County school officials are revealing what school could look like if in-person teaching resumes. The district presented renderings that show how classroom capacity would be limited in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. School officials said elementary school classrooms would be reduced from 18 to 11 students, middle school classrooms would be reduced from 22 to 12 students and high school classrooms would be reduced from 25 to 11 students. She added in-person classes would likely not be able to take place until the six-foot social distancing guidelines were removed. OCPS said it estimates it will receive $55 million dollars of the $770 million dollars Florida received for education from the federal CARES Act.
Florida coronavirus deaths reach 2,190 as major theme parks eye reopening
After push back, the DOH gave medical examiners permission to begin releasing death numbers again, showing discrepancies between the state dashboard and what local medical examiners offices have reported. All theme parks, large and small, need to receive approval from municipal and county government before seeking approval to reopen from the state. A Universal Orlando executive presented its reopening plan to the Orange County reopening task force Thursday and received approval. Click here to see a list of all Florida counties now allowing vacation rentals again. As of Friday, in the Central Florida region, Polk County has reported the most deaths from the virus at 49.
What is the weather recipe for the perfect launch?
ORLANDO, Fla. The Space Coast will soon return to glory. For the first time in nearly a decade, American astronauts will be launched from American soil on American-made rockets. Liftoff is set for 4:33 p.m. Wednesday from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. In light of such a significant moment for human spaceflight, News 6 and ClickOrlando.com space expert Emilee Speck joined The Weekly this week to discuss the mission, the astronauts and the new-age space race. [RETURN TO SPACE: NASA astronauts arrive in Florida, marking 1 week countdown to historic launch]
Universal Orlando receives Orange County task force approval to reopen parks to guests June 5
ORLANDO, Fla. The Orange County Economic Recovery task force approved Universal Orlandos plans to reopen theme parks to staff beginning June 1 and to guests on June 5, after listening to a presentation presented by a Universal executive. John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, presented Universals reopening plan to the task force Thursday as other theme parks and attractions in the area presented reopening plans. [READ MORE: Heres a glimpse at Florida theme park reopening plans]Under DeSantis executive order theme parks need local government approval before sending their plans to state officials for final approval. Demings said he will review the Universal plan and likely speak with the governor about it on Friday. Valet services would not be offered, according to the parks reopening proposal.
Heres why NOAA is predicting an above-average hurricane season
ORLANDO, Fla,- Thursday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its outlook for the upcoming hurricane season. Lack of El-NinoEl-Nino Southern Oscillation or ENSO strongly impacts tropical development in the Atlantic Basin. Of course, the 2020 season has already seen its first named storm. Here are the names for the 2020 hurricane season:For the 6th straight year we had a storm develop before the official start to hurricane season June 1. Tune into News 6 on June 1, the official start of hurricane season, for a full day of storm-prep coverage.
Department of Economic of Opportunity has received 50 million phone calls since March 15
ORLANDO, Fla. The phone number for unemployment benefits for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has received 50 million phone calls since March 15, according to Sec. Satter said 1 million phone calls were placed to the hotline on Monday alone. He said the best time for someone to call about unemployment benefits is in the late afternoon. We have hundreds of people in different stages of training, so we can get those wait times down, Satter said. Anyone who needs to file for unemployment assistance in Florida can click on this link.
Here are 14 weather reasons SpaceX would not launch the Falcon 9 Crew Dragon
As NASA and SpaceX prepare to send astronauts back into space from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade, the space agency released the climate criteria that would keep it from launching the Falcon 9 Crew Dragon on May 27. Before a launch the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron will be closely monitoring weather conditions that could prevent the launch, or in the event of a launch abort, the recovery of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from the Atlantic Ocean. Weather officers will be monitoring both launch and landing conditions throughout the countdown for certain criteria that would cause the launch to be scrubbed for the safety of the astronauts. Below are 14 weather conditions that would prevent the launch from happening. [RETURN TO SPACE: Subscribe to a weekly newsletter to receive the latest in space news directly to your inbox | American spaceflight history: Space Shuttle establishes lasting human presence in space]
Florida reports 47 new coronavirus deaths, 527 new cases a week out from major launch expected to draw visitors
Florida health officials are standing by the data they make public about coronavirus cases in the state after a key personnel member who managed the COVID-19 database was fired earlier this week. According to the latest data from the Florida Department of Health, there are 527 new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total cases in Florida to 47,471 since early March. The DOH releases data of coronavirus cases once a day in the form of an interactive dashboard. According to the updated FDOH dashboard Wednesday, the state saw 527 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday afternoon, as well as 47 new deaths. In Central Florida, Polk County has reported the most fatalities due to the virus, surpassing its more populated neighbor Orange County last week.
Disney Springs partially reopens after coronavirus pandemic closure
ORLANDO, Fla. Disney Springs welcomed guests back Wednesday after being shut down for nearly two months due to COVID-19. Carter and his 11-year-old daughter drove from Lakeland Wednesday morning to be one of the first people at Disney Springs. [READ: 6 ways Disney Springs is working to keep you safe | Disney Springs reopening comes with a warning about risk]He said getting to the property early was the right thing to do since he did not know what to expect. Disney officials said capacity at Disney Springs will be limited and guests will have to undergo temperature checks and cover their faces. Guests are now allowed back at Disney Springs, months after it closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Whats open in Orlando: Everything you can visit amid the coronavirus pandemic
Of course, not everything is open just yet, which is why well update this story as more locations start to open their doors. Check out the list below of things open in Central Florida:Treetop Trek: The Brevard County zipline park will open Saturday, May 23 with reduced hours. Leu Gardens: Not only has this Audubon Park botanical gardens remained open, its also been free for the past few weeks. ICEBAR Orlando: Guests can cool down and grab a drink and a bite to eat at this I-Drive ice-themed attraction. WonderWorks Orlando: A pop-up on the I-Drive attraction indicates that it will be open soon, but an exact date hasnt been provided yet.
NASA astronauts arrive in Florida, marking 1 week countdown to historic launch
pic.twitter.com/1EoolI3XNH Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) May 20, 2020Hurley was one of the last NASA astronauts to make that same trip in 2011 for the last space shuttle launch. He described Kennedy Space Center as home away from home because both astronauts spent a lot of time there during the space shuttle program. At that time, KSC Director Bob Cabana, a former astronaut, was head of the NASA astronaut office. This is also similar to the space shuttle program but, again, will look very different. Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates as American astronauts launch from Floridas Space Coast once again.
American spaceflight history: Space Shuttle establishes lasting human presence in space
NASAs space shuttle fleet included Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour and flew a combined 135 missions in space. Heres a look back at the program that established a permanent human presence in space:1981: First space shuttle launchBeginning a new era in human spaceflight, Space Shuttle Columbia launched on STS-1 from Kennedy Space Center on April 12, 1981. Jan. 28, 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger tragedyOn January 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after its life-off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. More than two years later, Space Shuttle Discovery marked the return to human spaceflight for NASA on Aug. 9, 2005. July 2011: The final space shuttle launchA marker to indicate where Atlantis stopped in 2011 after the final space shuttle mission.
Heres everything you need to know about wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic
According to Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Rajiv Bahl, face masks are an effective way to keep from spreading COVID-19, but not all masks are created equal. Just like a bicycle helmet, if a face mask is not worn properly, its not providing proper protection. Yes - you absolutely need to wash a cloth face mask, just as you would your other laundry to maintain sanitary use. The CDC said you absolutely do need to socially distance even if youre wearing a face mask. Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, officials with the organization said.
Photos, video show riders wearing masks during tests on SeaWorld Orlandos Mako coaster
Daniel Leavelle was outside SeaWorld Tuesday morning and captured photos and video of the theme park running its Mako rollercoaster with riders wearing masks. Full Screen 1 / 7 Riders can be seen on SeaWorld's Mako coaster wearing face masks. Leavelle said four different mask types were used and he did not witness any masks flying off during the tests. Mako with MASKS!!!! People continue to ride Mako at @SeaWorld during testing!
6 ways Disney Springs is working to keep you safe
Below are six steps Disney Springs management are taking:Limited EntrancesDisney representatives said there will only be four entrances into Disney Springs. You must have it on before you get your temperature checked or you will not be allowed in Disney Springs. Whats interesting to note, is Disney Springs is not only using social bigger social distancing markers already being used at Shanghai Disney, but Disney Springs is exclusively trying out smaller social distancing makers to see if that works better. If they look familiar, Disney representatives say those portable hand washing stations are used for RunDisney races and are now being used at Disney Springs. For a full list of guidelines and safety measures Disney Springs is implementing or for information on which stores are opening, click here.
Playtime is over: Coronavirus experts say its too soon for children to have playdates
Unfortunately, though, health experts say its too soon to safely allow kids to play with friends as cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Florida. As children are having to stay indoors and practice social distancing as well, many parents are starting to question if it is OK to loosen restrictions on children. As difficult as it is, to make social distancing truly effective, there should not be any playdates as of yet, Bahl said. " As more data and information comes out about the virus, children, including those that are very young, can develop the symptoms of COVID-19 or the more recent complication, Multisystem Inflmmatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)." Outdoor playdates where one can create more physical distance allows for decreased transmission of the virus, Bahl said.
State explains why manager of Floridas coronavirus dashboard was fired
ORLANDO, Fla. Florida state officials say the former manager of the states COVID-19 dashboard was fired because she was insubordinate, even as health leaders cry foul over her removal. [RELATED: Florida COVID-19 data chief gets sidelined and researchers cry foul]She was the architect and manager of the states coronavirus dashboard, which shows the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Florida. Florida Today reports Jones emailed her former coworkers letting them know she was removed from her position on May 5. Jones said she appreciates all the concerns from her coworkers during the changes that have happened, according to Florida Today. DeSantis' office)In the email, Jones said she was asked by a reporter why she was no longer working with the dashboard.
Behind the closed gates: Whats been happening at Central Florida theme parks during pandemic closures
Despite the tough times, theme parks in Central Florida have been hard at work inside, waiting for guests to return in the future. Walt Disney WorldThe Walt Disney Company was among the first theme parks to begin closing up on March 17. Universal theme parks have been closed since March 15, and according to the company website it will stay that way till at least May 31. Like most of the other Central Florida theme parks, SeaWorld Orlando was also forced to make the difficult decision to furlough 90 percent of its workforce. pic.twitter.com/jsQd0uXZAp SeaWorld (@SeaWorld) March 21, 2020On March 26, Sasha, one of SeaWorld Orlandos Atlantic bottlenose dolphins gave birth to a new calf.
Gyms, fitness Centers open up in Central Florida as part of phase 1
CASSELBERRY, Fla. Gyms and fitness centers in Central Florida are allowed to open as of Monday morning, days after Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement that Florida would enter full phase one of reopening. Ive always had disinfectant wipes for my members and Ive always really enforced that everyone really has to wipe down equipment. In addition to fitness centers, restaurants and retail stores can also increase their capacity from 25% to 50%. So now our gyms are open, our hair salons are open and restaurants are seating inside and its a little bit more normal so its good for everybody, Newlon said.
OneBlood now testing all donations for coronavirus antibodies
ORLANDO, Fla. OneBlood is now testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibodies, according to a news release. [RELATED: Why Floridas governor wants expanded coronavirus antibody testing]Some antibody testing has been available in Central Florida, but not very widespread. Prior to OneBloods announcement, antibody testing was already being offered at a COVID-19 testing site set up at the Orange County Convention Center, but only to health care workers and first responders. She said giving back is important, but the added peace of mind knowing if she has COVID-19 antibodies is a plus. The antibody testing will be conducted in addition to the standard disease testing that is routinely performed on all blood donations.
854 new cases of COVID-19 reported as Florida enters full phase 1 of reopening
Ron DeSantis called full phase one of his plan to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. Under full phase one all provisional openings instated on May 4 remain, but some guidelines have loosened and some have been added. [READ MORE: Heres what changes now that Florida is entering full phase one of reopening]Floridas Full Phase 1 begins Monday, May 18. pic.twitter.com/bhX9dKiFwj Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 15, 2020As the state moves towards furthering the reopening process, the Florida Department of Health reported 854 news cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, as well as 24 new deaths. These new statistics bring the total number of coronavirus cases reported since the disease was first detected in the state from March 1 to 46,442 and the death toll to 1,997.
Florida gyms, studios given green light to reopen by Gov. Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis officially gave gyms, fitness centers and studios the OK to reopen starting Monday as Florida enters the full phase one of his reopening plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Under the White House guidelines, gyms could have opened under the first stage but DeSantis said he held off on that step after speaking to state health officials. DeSantis said all fitness centers need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on social distancing and sanitation. DeSantis said gyms with outdoor or warehouse-style spaces such as CrossFit will be better prepared to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The only businesses not given the go-ahead to reopen in Florida that were included in the White House phase one reopening guidelines are movie theaters.
Heres what changes now that Florida is entering full phase one of reopening
Heres what else to expect as Florida enters its full phase one of reopening come Monday:Museums, libraries, restaurants and retail shops can operate at 50% capacity, up from the current 25%. Amusement parks can submit reopening plans to the state, which should include a date for when theyd like to reopen. Movie theaters will remain closed, although drive-in locations can operate. Bars and nightclubs also will remain closed until phase two beginsNo decision has been made on summer camps, but DeSantis hopes to know more about that soon. He said having vacation rentals open to only Florida residents would be preferred.
Visitors flock to CityWalk as limited restaurants, retail shops open
There were lines of cars outside Universal Orlandos CityWalk as the attraction opened its gates for the first time in two months. CityWalk opened its doors with a limited capacity after being closed for about two months. Some of those venues that are open include Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Margaritaville with limited menus. While theyre not one of the restaurants opening Thursday he visited CityWalk to support the other businesses. In this weather and having to wear the mask, Im not going to come back, its too hot and uncomfortable being out there with the mask," Tanaka said.