Tracking Coronavirus: Cases jump over 300, public access to Brevard beaches closed, and more

Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered that all Florida public schools remain closed until April 15 as the state works to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. All bars and nightclubs across the state have also been shut down for 30 days.The number of coronavirus cases in the state of Florida is up to 216 confirmed cases. Seven people have died in the state.

Meanwhile, President Trump wants the government to start sending checks to Americans within the next two weeks to help curb the economic strain of the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. 

Below is a log of the day's events as it relates to the global coronavirus pandemic. 

12:30 a.m. -- Three field hospitals are being deployed in Florida because of the coronavirus pandemic, including one in Orlando. Read more HERE.

7:00 a.m. -- With Florida public schools K-12 remaining closed until April 15 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Orange County Public Schools has announced they will be providing free meals to students beginning Monday, March 23. Read more HERE.  

9:00 a.m. -- Johns Hopkins University says the total number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus worldwide has surpassed 200,000. Read more HERE.

10:00 a.m. -- The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday. Read more HERE.

11:30 a.m. -- The known cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Florida jumped by nearly 100 overnight, reaching 314. Read more HERE.

12:00 p.m. -- Some malls in Central Florida are adjusting their hours to make time for extra sanitation efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more HERE.

1:00 p.m. -- 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. Read more HERE.

1:00 p.m. -- 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. Read more HERE.

1:00 p.m. -- In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Brevard County Policy Group voted on Wednesday to close all public parking lots that give access to Brevard County beaches. Read more HERE.

3:00 p.m. -- One of Orlando's major hotels, the Hyatt Regency, announced that it will close until May 3 because of coronavirus. Read more HERE.

4:30 p.m. -- Orange County health officials said that hospitals are preparing for an influx of patients as the number of positive coronavirus cases in the county is expected to rise testing increases. Read more HERE.

5:00 p.m. -- Governor DeSantis said that Florida is experiencing a shortage of medical supplies, making testing difficult across the state as positive cases continue to rise. Read more HERE.

6:30 p.m. -- 14 more cases of coronavirus have been announced by the Florida Department of Health, as well as an additional death, bringing the state's death toll to eight total. Read more HERE.

8:30 p.m. -- President Trump signed the coronavirus relief package. Read more HERE.

10:00 p.m. -- The Central Florida Expressway Authority announced on Wednesday that they are suspending cash collection for tolls and shifting to license plate tolling only. Read more HERE.

10:30 p.m. -- U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy announced on Wednesday evening that she has decided to self-quarantine after coming into contact with a Florida congressman who tested positive for coronavirus. Read more HERE.


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