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Florida asks federal government to send additional resources to areas highly-impacted by coronavirus

Florida has requested 2 million face masks from the federal government.

The Division of Emergency Management is ordering additional supplies and personal protective equipment to try to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The number of coronavirus, or COVID-19, cases in the state has risen as testing ramps up.

Health officials announced Tuesday evening that the state had 216 positive cases, with 195 of them coming from Floridians in the state. Officials announced another death, bringing the official number of fatalities to seven.

Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz has requested thousands of supplies from the federal government, including 5,000 ventilators, 50,000 containers of hand sanitizer, 500,000 gloves and 2 million N95 face masks. 

The state says the supplies are being delivered on a rolling basis and inventory is being distributed across the state 24 hours a day.

The state has three field hospitals, with one currently staged in Orlando. The second is on the way to Broward County and the last one is headed to Ocala. They can be deployed to other areas as needed.

Moskowitz is also working with the federal government to determine if there is capacity to add U.S. Navy Mercy-Class ships at Florida ports. Mobile COVID-19 testing is also being implemented, and the National Guard is deployed in Broward County and on standby to assist throughout the state as necessary.

Bars and nightclubs have been ordered to close for 30 days, starting Tuesday.

Restaurants will operate at 50% capacity with employees undergoing health screenings before being allowed to work.

The state is jettisoning standardized testing for children in its preschool programs and K-12 schools because of the increased anxiety over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Additionally, the Board of Governors has directed all state universities to do online classes through the rest of the spring semester. The BOG is also canceling May on-campus graduation ceremonies. Universities are to develop an alternate schedule or method of delivering the commencement.

The List of Supplies Florida is requesting:

—5 mobile intensive care units

—5,000 ventilators

—5,000 hospital beds

—50,000 two oz. bottles of hand sanitizer

—250,000 coveralls

—500,000 gloves

—500,000 gowns

—500,000 collection kits

—100,000 16 oz. bottles of hand sanitizers

—150,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits, including coveralls, gowns, and goggles   

—2 million N95 face masks

Written By

Sarah Mueller has extensive experience covering public policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010. She began her career covering local government in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. She returned to school in 2016 to earn a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting. Since then, she’s worked in public radio covering state politics in Illinois, Florida and Delaware. If you'd like to contact her, send an email to sarah@floridapolitics.com.

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