Florida adds more than 500 coronavirus cases, 3 deaths overnight

Coronavirus Illustration 1
Health officials now report 5,473 coronavirus cases.

State health officials now report 5,473 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus Monday, an increase of more than 500 overnight.

Additionally, three Floridians died from the virus, raising the state’s death toll to 63. An additional 19 people have been hospitalized, confirmed with COVID-19, up from 633 people Sunday evening. The state’s count includes 5,276 positive Florida residents.

The new deaths include Palm Beach County’s eighth and DeSoto and Okaloosa counties’ first deaths. Broward County leads the state with 11 deaths.

An 81-year-old Palm Beach male who is the eighth reported coronavirus death had traveled to New York and had contact with a known positive individual. The DeSoto and Okaloosa cases, both males aged 91 and 87 respectively, had not traveled. Health officials do not yet know whether they had contact with known cases.

Combining the state’s twice-daily reports, the state confirmed an additional 912 people with the respiratory disease Sunday, putting the state’s tally at 4,950.

Most of the state’s positive coronavirus cases are in South Florida, but the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas have become growing hotspots of the virus. Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the first COVID-19 cases could have been in Florida weeks before the first case was confirmed this month and acknowledges community spread is underway in parts of the state.

At least 1,632 people have the virus in Miami-Dade County, as do 1,152 in Broward County and 423 in Palm Beach County. Orange County has at least 293 cases, Hillsborough County has 253, Lee County has 164 and Duval County has 158.

Federal, state, hospital-based and commercial labs have conducted at least 55,193 tests, with at least 1,011 tests pending results. Decentralized testing results in private labs may take longer for results to return to the state.

Increased testing, particularly with drive-thru sites in Broward and Miami-Dade county, has helped the state identify more positive cases. But several communities don’t have expanded testing yet, and testing is limited to people who meet certain requirements.

One drive-thru site will go up in Palm Beach County on Tuesday.

“Palm Beach County is a distant third in infections behind Miami and Broward, but they’ve not had the same level of testing, so we think it’s really important to flood the zone in Palm Beach with testing,” DeSantis told reporters Monday.

As Department of Health officials released the new report, the Governor was speaking in Miami Gardens at the Hard Rock Stadium mobile testing site to announce a “safer at home” executive order for four South Florida counties. That would mark the first statewide order to streamline what some communities across the state have started doing on their own.

He also announced a second order that would allow retired state law enforcement and health care personnel to return to work even within six months of retiring.

And as a cruise ship destined for Port Everglades carries passengers with symptoms similar to COVID-19, DeSantis said he does not want those passengers to disembark and to instead be treated on the ship.

DeSantis said Monday he wants the passengers treated on the ship should it eventually dock at Port Everglades.

“We think it’s a mistake to be putting people into Southern Florida right now given what we’re dealing with,” DeSantis said.

Staff Reports



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