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Bay and Escambia counties record first coronavirus fatalities

280 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Panhandle.

Bay and Escambia counties are the latest Panhandle counties to report their first deaths related to the novel coronavirus after Department of Health officials confirmed the deaths overnight.

In Bay County, a 93-year-old man passed away while a 75-year-old woman passed away in Escambia County.

This week, an 87-year-old man passed away in Okaloosa County, as did an 81-year-old woman in Santa Rosa County. The only prior fatality in the Panhandle was a 71-year-old male in Santa Rosa County who was one of the first to pass away in the state.

Escambia County became the first Panhandle county to cross 100 cases this week, now with 117. Okaloosa County has 59, Santa Rosa County has 49, Bay County has 23 and Walton County has 21. The remaining counties have cases in the single digits. At least 280 people have tested positive in the region.

South Florida remains the largest hot spot of COVID-19 cases in the state as Department of Health officials have confirmed 11,111 cases statewide after crossing 10,000 on Friday. At least 191 people have died across Florida and 1,386 have been hospitalized.

That day, Florida began its statewide lockdown effort after Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ ordered everyone in the state to stay at home after resisting calls for weeks to implement such an order. The Governor has not closed beaches across the Sunshine State, except in South Florida, but all beachfront counties in the Panhandle have closed their own beaches.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson is in self-isolation after his son tested positive for COVID-19 despite testing negative himself, according to the Pensacola News Journal. His son, Grover Robinson V is in recovery at the Mayor’s home and doing well.

On Monday, Gulf Power announced it would would lump together fuel savings this year into one-time bill reductions in May as the coronavirus spreads in Northwest Florida.

Last week, a 7-month-old infant in Santa Rosa became one of the youngest to test positive for COVID-19 in the state.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering the Texas House of Representatives for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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