ORLANDO, Fla. - Below is a log of the day's events as it relates to the global coronavirus pandemic.
3:06 p.m. -- Orange County Health Services announced that they will offer free COVID-19 testing at Barnett Park between Tuesday, August 25th and Friday, August 28th. The site's hours will be between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. No symptoms are required for testing but online appointments are and can be made HERE.
2:30 p.m. -- Due to lightning in the area, outside coronavirus testing at the Orange County Convention Center has been paused. Testing is still going under the cover of the convention center's garage.
1:37 p.m. -- A total of 782 food service workers at Orlando International Airport (OIA) who had been temporarily furloughed will be permanently laid off as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the travel industry.
11:14 a.m. -- The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported another 4,555 coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 588,602. Another 117 Florida residents have died. The death toll is now at 10,049.
Figures released by the state health department on Thursday show the daily rate for people testing positive for the coronavirus was slightly below that threshold after the state reached nearly 21 percent on July 8.
The figure used by state and local governments to weigh reopening decisions hadn’t dipped this low since June 21. The seven-day average of new confirmed cases at 4,541 was also at a low not seen since June 25.
Hospitalizations for the disease have been on a downward trend over the past month. Late Thursday morning, 5,340 patients were being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals, compared with Wednesday’s 5,351. That number has dropped from a peak above 9,500 on July 23.
10:31 a.m. -- A New York mother with six children says she was forced off a JetBlue flight in Orlando because she couldn't get her 2-year-old daughter to put on a face mask. See the video HERE.
9:16 a.m. -- Starting Thursday, you can go see a movie at AMC Theaters just like before the pandemic hit. Several Central Florida locations are reopening including AMC Altamonte Mall 18, AMC West Oaks 14, and AMC DINE-IN Disney Springs. Other Central Florida locations will reopen at a later date. More HERE.
8:52 a.m. -- The number of laid-off workers seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose to 1.1 million last week after two weeks of declines, evidence that many employers are still slashing jobs as the coronavirus bedevils the U.S. economy. Read more HERE.
Florida saw a slight increase in first-time jobless claims last week, as the U.S. Department of Labor reported new unemployment applications nationally went back above 1 million during the same period. The federal agency estimated 66,322 new claims were filed in Florida during the week ending Aug. 15, up 4,738 from the prior week. Details HERE.
8:01 a.m. -- AMC Theatres, the nation's largest movie theater chain, reopens in the U.S. on Thursday with retro ticket prices of 15 cents per movie. AMC Entertainment, which owns the chain, said that it expects to open the doors to more than 100 cinemas — or about a sixth of its nationwide locations — with throwback pricing for a day.
7:09 a.m. -- In Seminole County, there are calls for action after a case of coronavirus is confirmed at Lake Mary Elementary School. This comes after just 3 days of face-to-face instruction.
5:16 a.m. -- As Orange County gets ready to start face-to-face classes on Friday, the battle to keep schools closed rages on. Orange County Schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins says about a third of students will be headed back to classrooms on Friday. But many teachers want to keep schools closed in the name of safety. More HERE.
4:34 a.m. -- The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported 4,115 new cases and 174 more deaths since Tuesday morning. That brings the statewide case total since the start of the pandemic to 584,047, resulting in 9,932 deaths. The positivity rate for coronavirus testing in Florida has averaged about 11.4% during the past week. There were 5,351 patients being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals on Wednesday, down from peaks above 9,500 patients in late July.
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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 22.4 million COVID-19 cases, resulting in over 788,000 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.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest on the pandemic