Coronavirus cases reach 520, deaths hit double digits

coronavirus florida 10
More than 1,000 tests are still pending.

Health department officials reported an additional 88 coronavirus cases overnight to bring the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 520 Friday.

A 10th person, a 92-year-old man in Broward County also died of the novel coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

The 520 count includes 46 non-residents tested and isolated in the state.

The DOH reported a total of 3,416 tests, including 1,870 negative. Officials await results from 1,026 tests even as cities across the state lack access to an adequate number of testing supplies.

Broward County now has 124 confirmed cases while Miami-Dade County has 113. Palm Beach County has the next most with 34 and Hillsborough County now has 30 cases.

There are 14,250 cases in the United States, 121 of those patients have recovered. At least 205 people have died across the nation due to the virus.

Nearly two of every three Floridians now are very worried about the outbreak and about nine of every ten at least somewhat worried, a survey from St. Pete Polls found this week.

Earlier Friday, the Department of Juvenile Justice issued an order suspending visitation at all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential programs until April 15. The department has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at this time.

On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would consider exercising his emergency executive powers to allow easier access to unemployment insurance because of the impact of the pandemic.

Also Thursday, the Governor said portions of an order of half a million pharyngeal swabs are supposedly on their way to the state. So far, the state has received 5,000 of those swabs, which each collect a sample for one person.

The state has distributed enough testing kits to run samples from 625,000 individuals.

With access to more samples, DOH and the Division of Emergency Management expect to increase testing capabilities, including at drive-thru sites and local facilities. Officials will sent 4,000 of the 5,000 delivered swabs to the Broward County drive-thru site, which opened Friday morning.

The Department of Education closed colleges and universities this week, but clarified Thursday that the directive did not apply to private schools. A coalition of 30 private college presidents says they will find a way to let their students finish the spring terms.

Staff Reports


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