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Coronavirus in Florida

776 people test positive for COVID-19, 46 deaths confirmed Friday

Now 49,451 people have tested positive and 2,268 have died.

State health officials reported 776 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising the total caseload to 49,451, including 48,150 Florida residents.

The Department of Health (DOH) also confirmed another 46 deaths, all residents, raising the state’s death toll to 2,268. And another 172 people were confirmed hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, raising the total hospitalizations to 9,372.

Since Thursday’s report, 155 people in Miami-Dade County tested positive, raising the overall COVID-19 caseload there to 16,522 people. Thirteen people were confirmed dead since that report, raising the county’s death toll to 624.

Broward County registered 66 new cases, raising its total to 6,580 and the death toll still sits at 308. Palm Beach County now has 5,072 cases after DOH showed 104 new cases along with three deaths, bringing total deaths to 322.

Six other counties have more than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases including Hillsborough with 1,790, Orange with 1,744, Lee with 1,666, Duval with 1,376, Collier with 1,160 and Pinellas with 1,116. Hillsborough overtook Orange and Collier overtook Pinellas Thursday.

This week saw an “explosion” in diagnostic testing with 77,940 tests received Tuesday and 53,428 the day after, up from a previous single-day maximum of 33,663, set Monday. Now 837,172 people have been tested for the disease.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is lifting restrictions on youth activities, including youth sports and summer camps, effective immediately. Local governments may still make decisions based on their communities but are no longer required to restrict youth activities.

“We trust parents to be able to make decisions,” DeSantis said during a news conference Friday in Jacksonville.

Surgeon General Scott Rivkees acknowledged a syndrome that attacks children and is associated with COVID-19 has surfaced in Florida. During a call this week with hospital representatives, he encouraged physicians and hospitals to make sure they report any suspected cases of what is known as a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children” to DOH officials.

The Governor said parents should consider the syndrome when sending their children back to activities, but noted that the Cleveland Clinic calls the syndrome extremely rare.

Earlier this week, one of the people entering data on Florida’s coronavirus website was fired in a dispute over what information should be made public. Rebekah Jones, who says she helped design the site, said she was fired because she would not manually change data to support Gov. DeSantis’ decision to begin the reopening of the state.

DeSantis denied that, saying Jones was fired for insubordination and should never have been hired because she is being investigated for cyberstalking. He said she was not one of the site’s designers but someone who entered data.

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