Florida health officials stop issuing daily COVID-19 case, death reports

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health will no longer issue daily reports on increases of COVID-19 case numbers and virus-related deaths, the governor’s office said on Friday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary released a statement saying that there is no need to keep issuing them.

Some people are upset the state will no longer give updates on COVID-19 cases and deaths.

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Others also wonder how residents will know if cases start to go back up again.

For 15 months, Channel 9 has been reporting on how many people reportedly tested positive the day before for COVID-19, and how many have people died in each county and across the state.

But the numbers were only known because the Florida Department of Health put out a daily COVID report.

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On Thursday, the state reported 1,878 new coronavirus cases and 52 additional virus-related deaths.

That brought the total number of cases in the state since the pandemic began to 2,329,867 and the death toll to 37,717.

While the numbers are nowhere near zero – and the pandemic continues – the state will not be issuing that public information daily anymore.

Many viewers have told Channel 9 they want to know the numbers while people are still testing positive.

READ: Orange County no longer under coronavirus state of emergency

While local governments haven’t been able to enforce a mask mandate for a while now – Orange County said if its mask mandate was still in effect, its positivity rate would now be low enough to end it.

That rate’s been under 5% every day for the last two weeks.

But Orange County also said its positivity rate is low enough now that it’s no longer in a state of emergency.

“With the rapid deployment of testing and distribution of the vaccine throughout the county and speedy distribution of assistance to our residents most impacted, we are paving a path for improvement in our economy and community,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

A spokesperson for the governor said there is no need to keep issuing the daily COVID-19 reports because the state is returning to normal and vaccines are widely available.

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News and WFTV.com for updates.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.