ORLANDO, Fla. - Below is a log of the day's events as it relates to the global coronavirus pandemic.
5:00 p.m. -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighs-in on FOX 35 Investigation revealing discrepancies over COVID-19 positivity rates.
4:45 p.m. -- The nation’s top infectious disease expert warned this week that the coronavirus pandemic could potentially reach the level of the 1918 flu pandemic, which ravaged the world between 1918 and 1920 and killed millions of people. Read more from Dr. Fauci HERE.
4:30 p.m. -- All children and staff members at a Florida city’s summer camp are being sent home after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, the city said. Find out which city HERE.
4:15 p.m. -- Virginia has become the first state in the nation to adopt "enforceable" workplace safety standards for COVID-19. Read about the standards HERE.
4:00 p.m. -- OneBlood says there is a 500 percent increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Read more HERE.
2:00 p.m. -- JC Penney says it will close an additional 152 stores and cut 1,000 jobs as it tries to fight its way out from under bankruptcy protection. More details HERE.
1:00 p.m. -- The coronavirus pandemic is resulting in a surge in the number of Floridians seeking help from a state program that provides cash assistance to needy families, driving up projected costs of the program by $35 million, a panel of economists said this week.
12:00 p.m. -- Two student-athletes at a Central Florida high school have tested positive for COVID-19, causing 31 other players and five coaches to quarantine as a result, officials said. Find out which high school HERE.
11:45 a.m. -- Antibody testing at Orange County Convention Center hits capacity.
11:30 a.m. -- An interactive online map allows people to assess their risk of encountering someone infected with COVID-19 at an event, based on the size of the gathering as well as the county in which the gathering is being held. See the map HERE.
11:21 a.m. -- The Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) is now offering free "DAB Cares Kit" for departing passengers. They include hand sanitizer, a face covering, luggage tag, mints, and a thank you card. More about the kits HERE.
11:17 a.m. -- The Orange County Convention Center reportedly has no cars waiting in line for testing. This is the first time in weeks this has happened. Antibody testing is also available, they said.
11:00 a.m. -- Walmart is joining a list of growing retailers that will require customers to wear face masks when inside its stores. Details on the policy HERE.
10:45 a.m. -- The Florida Department of Health reported that there have been 301,810 cases of COVID-19 statewide, resulting in 4,521 deaths. That is an increase of 10,181 cases and 112 deaths since Tuesday morning.
Florida’s rolling seven-day average for deaths is now 92 per day, triple the 31 posted a month ago just before the toll began creeping up and then exploding last week. As of Tuesday, Florida had the number 2 death rate in country, slightly behind Texas.
Still, Florida’s death toll is nowhere near the national record. When COVID-19 was ravaging New York three months ago, state officials there recorded 799 deaths on April 9 and a seven-day average of 763 deaths on April 14, the highest in the country at the time. New York now has one of the nation’s lowest death rates per capita.
9:00 a.m. -- FOX 35's Robert Guaderrama joins Good Day Orlando to discuss the story he broke about errors in Florida's report on positivity rates. The Florida Department of Health said that some laboratories have not been reporting negative test result data to the state.
8:00 a.m. -- Nearly one-third of every person under 18 years old tested for the coronavirus in Florida are positive for the virus, according to a report. Details HERE.
7:30 a.m. -- The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday -- as the shots are poised to begin key final testing. Read more HERE.
7:00 a.m. -- The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to begin sending coronavirus patient information directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
6:00 a.m. -- Walt Disney World’s final two parks reopen to the general public on Wednesday after being shut down for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. What to know before you go HERE.
5:30 a.m. -- Some Central Florida school districts have voted to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Details HERE.
5:00 a.m. -- FOX 35 News broke a story that is calling Florida's coronavirus numbers into question. Floridians depend on the coronavirus numbers, but they might not be telling the whole story. Several lawmakers say they are extremely disturbed by the findings, saying there needs to be more oversight.
After FOX 35 News noticed errors in the state's report on positivity rates, the Florida Department of Health said that some laboratories have not been reporting negative test result data to the state.
Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. FOX 35 News found that testing sites like one local Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive. Read more HERE.
Phase two of Florida's reopening is ongoing. The following is in effect:
- Restaurants can now allow bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing.
- Bars and pubs were originally able to operate with 50 percent capacity indoors and full capacity outside as long as appropriate social distancing is followed. However, the state has put a temporary ban on liquor sales at bars as COVID-19 cases surge, forcing many bars to close.
- Retail stores can now operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitization protocols.
- Gyms can now operate at full capacity as well with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitization.
- Entertainment businesses, like movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, can operate at 50 percent with appropriate social distancing and sanitization protocols.
- Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons, and massage establishments, may operate with guidance from the Florida Department of Health.
- Pari-mutuel betting facilities can submit a request to reopen to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The request must include an endorsement from their county mayor or county administrator if there is no mayor.
Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach -- which are the counties that got hit the heaviest by coronavirus in Florida -- will remain in phase one for the time being. When ready, they can seek approval from their county mayor or county administrator to enter phase two.
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.
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.
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 COVIDemail@example.com.
Globally, there have been over 13.3 million COVID-19 cases, resulting in over 579,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.
Below is an interactive John Hopkins University dashboard, showing a country-by-country breakdown of positive COVID-19 cases across the world.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.