Coronavirus death toll in Florida rises to 8, additional positive cases announced as well, health officials say

14 more cases of coronavirus have been announced by the Florida Department of Health, as well as an additional death.

As of Wednesday evening, the department said that there are 328 positive cases of coronavirus in Florida. 29 of those cases are non-Florida residents who tested positive and are isolated in the state. Central Florida positive COVID-19 cases include:

  • Alachua County: Seven positive cases of COVID-19, including three men and four women, with an age between 21 and 69 years old.
  • Brevard County: Two positive case of COVID-19, including one woman, with an age between 32 and 76 years old.
  • Orange County: Eleven positive cases of COVID-19, including five men and five women, with an age between 28 and 79 years old.
  • Osceola County: Eight positive cases of COVID-19, including six men and two women, with an age between 18 and 65 years old.
  • Polk County: Two positive case of COVID-19, including two woman, with an age between 21 and 44 years old.
  • Seminole County: Seven positive cases of COVID-19, including three men and four women, with an age between 43 and 70 years old.
  • Sumter County: One positive case of COVID-19, identified as a man.
  • Volusia County: Nine positive cases of COVID-19, including two men and seven women, with an age between 37 and 89 years old.

In addition, they announced that another person has died from coronavirus. This is the eighth death tied to Florida and the person died in Clay County. 

967 others are reportedly being monitored for coronavirus.

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On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he will invoke a federal provision that allows the government to marshal the private sector in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He said that he would sign the Defense Production Act “in case we need it" as the government bolsters resources for an expected surge in cases of the virus. He added that he will expand the nation's testing capacity and deploy a Navy hospital ship to New York City, which is rapidly becoming the epicenter of a pandemic that has rattled the U.S. economy and rewritten the rules of American society. A second ship will be deployed to the West Coast.

The president also said the Housing and Urban Development Department will suspend foreclosures and evictions through April as a growing number of Americans face losing jobs and missing rent and mortgage payments. In addition to this, his administration proposed $500 billion in checks to millions of Americans, with the first checks to come on April 6 if Congress approves the plan. 

The United States and Canada on Wednesday also agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Th4e restrictions will not affect the flow of trade between the countries, which are eager to maintain their vital economic relationship. Canada relies on the U.S. for 75 percent of its exports and about 18 percent of American exports go to Canada.

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Locally, Governor Ron DeSantis says that Florida is experiencing a shortage of medical supplies, making testing difficult across the state as positive cases continue to rise. The state reportedly needs more swabs to take samples and protective gear for health workers.

Simon Property Group also announced that the Orlando International Premium Outlets, Orlando Outlet Marketplace, Florida Mall, and the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets will close Wednesday at 7 p.m. until March 29 to fight the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

The Brevard County Policy Group voted on Wednesday to close all public parking lots that give access to Brevard County beaches. The closures will cover the 72-mile Brevard County shoreline, beginning Thursday in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Three field hospitals are being deployed in Florida because of the coronavirus pandemic, including one in Orlando and Ocala. These can be deployed to other areas if necessary. 

Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. Others can then contract the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then their eyes, nose, or mouth. 

As stated before, symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They may show in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure, the Florida Department of Health says. Most people recover from COVID-19 without special treatment but the elderly and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, so avoiding exposure is crucial. The department advises the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 

The CDC said that they do not recommend that healthy people wear facemasks. They should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people taking care of someone in close settings.

If you display coronavirus symptoms, you should contact a local health organization and make them aware of your condition prior to arrival while also following specific instructions or guidelines they may have. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know if you have been infected or believe that you may be.

If you are infected, a medical professional or another authority will likely advise that you remain isolated while sick. This includes staying at home and not going into public places or large events.

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Please visit the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida. For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to


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