Florida coronavirus update for Tuesday: Deaths up to 77, cases near 6,400

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The first update from Florida’s Department of Health on Tuesday showed the state is now tracking 6,338 coronavirus cases and has endured 77 deaths.

That’s 634 more cases and six more deaths since Monday night’s totals.

The new numbers came out at 11 a.m. with a second update expected at 6 p.m. This jump comes one day after the state added more than 750 cases and 11 more deaths on Monday while national and global numbers continued their sobering climb.

To date, Florida has performed more than 60,000 tests. More than 54,000 of those tests proved negative, and results of nearly 1,200 are pending. Of the total positive cases for COVID-19, 6,096 have been Florida residents with another 242 non-Florida residents. 772 of the Florida residents have been hospitalized.

Of the six deaths announced Tuesday, one was a 60-year-old man in Polk County. Locally, Orange County officials said four people died over the weekend at county facilities, but none of them were actually Orange County residents. And on Monday, Osceola County reported its first death. With another death reported in Volusia County last week, Central Florida now has seven while tracking 859 cases.

The U.S. death toll surged over the weekend with 3,173 by Tuesday morning with over 164,000 cases. Worldwide cases passed 800,000 and just over 39,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.

South Florida counties continue to be the epicenter of the state, but Orange County cases continue to rise with expanded testing including the drive-through site at the Orange County Convention Center.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties account for 3,649 of the state’s 6,338 cases, which is 57.5% of the state totals.

Orange County’s 363 cases places it fourth in the state, and it leads Central Florida followed by Osceola’s107, Seminole’s 99, Volusia’s 75, Polk’s 73, Lake’s 59, Sumter’s 49 and Brevard’s 34. (See details on all Central Florida cases here).

Effort to battle the spread of the virus continue on several fronts in Florida.

On Monday evening, Gov. Ron DeSantis enacted a “safer at home” executive order in four southeast Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe that will last through April 15.

The order aims to “restrict public access to businesses and facilities deemed non-essential.” It deems multiple categories as “essential,” including health care, grocery and food, gas stations, veterinarians and funeral homes.

The governor said each county could designate additional “essential” services not be subject to complete closure. Any still-operating essential businesses “shall take reasonable action” to make sure people adhere to social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also on Monday, the state recommended public schools not re-open until after April 30.

With many schools having begun online education plans as of Monday, schools were already not planning any sort of return until April 15. But during a conference call with districts Monday afternoon, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran recommended the closures be extended until May 1. All of Central Florida’s school districts then fell in line with that recommendation.

Unlike Florida, many states have enacted statewide stay-at-home orders including New York, which has more than 67,000 cases and 1,300 deaths. Arizona is the latest state to enact such and order joining 30 other states plus Washington D.C. with similar approaches.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been working with statistical projections to formulate the nation’s response to the outbreak.

White House coronavirus task force adviser Dr. Deborah Birx and the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci have been talking about the models at press briefings. Fauci on Sunday cited one estimate of 100,000 deaths. Birx has described how officials are working to refine their own model.

On Monday, Trump signaled that the White House will explain its forecast soon. “We will meet again tomorrow for some statistics,” he told reporters at the daily briefing.


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