Timeline: Coronavirus March 17

10 p.m. update

The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced it is ordering additional supplies and protective equipment to help mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Florida.

Here is the list of supplies through Direct Federal Assistance:

  • 5 mobile intensive care units
  • 5,000 ventilators
  • 5,000 hospital beds
  • 50,000 two-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 250,000 coveralls
  • 500,000 gloves
  • 500,000 gowns
  • 500,000 collection kits
  • 100,000 16-ounce bottles of hand sanitizers
  • 150,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits, including coveralls, gowns, and goggles
  • 2 million N95 face masks

Supplies are being delivered on a rolling basis, the FDEM said.

In addition, three field hospital are being deployed:

  • One field hospital staged in Orlando, and can be deployed to other areas in the state as needed.
  • One field hospital is on its way to Broward County and will be set up there.
  • One field hospital is on its way to Ocala and will be staged there and deployed to other areas as needed.

8:30 p.m. update

Give Kids the World has announced it will suspend all Village operations until at least April 1. After that, the organization said it will reassess the situation and determine if it is safe to reopen.

6:40 p.m. update

One person has died in Manatee County who tested positive for COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health announced Tuesday evening.

There are currently 195 positive cases in Florida residents and 21 positive cases in non-Florida residents, the department said, bringing the total to 216 cases in Florida.

There are 24 additional COVID-19 cases in Florida, all but two are non-Florida residents.

The health department announced a COVID-19 dashboard has been created and updated twice daily to keep residents and visitors safe and informed.

6:10 p.m. update

Volusia Schools released the following statement:

5:40 p.m. update

Seminole County Public Schools released the following update Tuesday following announcements from Gov. Ron DeSantis:

5:18 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is not sure if K-12 students will continue virtual school through the remainder of the school year. He said as of now students will at least not return to campus until April 15.

5:15 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis said K-12 testing will be cancelled for the school year.

4:52 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to host a news conference discussing the spread of COVID-19 in Florida at 5 p.m.


4:50 p.m update

Orange County tweeted that at last count the county had six confirmed cases of COVID-19.

4:10 p.m. update

Stocks closed solidly higher Tuesday after the government announced more steps to combat the coronavirus and its harm to economy, according to The Associated Press. The Dow closed up 5%.

Watch Channel 9 NOW for live updates.

4 p.m. update

Florida restaurants in Florida are now required to limit customer entry to 50% capacity and seat parties at least 6 feet apart.

READ: Orlando bans on-site alcohol sales, governor orders Florida bars, nightclubs to close for 30 days

3:55 p.m. update

Port Canaveral announced that Jetty Park is closed, effective noon on Tuesday and that campground guests will need to vacate by Thursday. Additionally, the park will not be accepting any new campground reservations until further notice.

3:25 p.m. update

Volusia County Government announced it will host a news conference at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to address the county’s continued efforts in response to COVID-19.

Download the WFTV news app and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story, or click here to have updates sent straight to your inbox.

3:15 p.m. update

There are several hotline resources available for those in need in Central Florida including:

  • Harbor House Hotline: 407-886-2856
  • Help Now of Osceola: 407-847-8562
  • Victim Service Center (open 24/7): 407-500-HEAL (4325) by phone or 407-497-6701 by text

2:55 p.m. update

Brevard County Schools announced Tuesday that kindergarten registration and orientations will be postponed. The district said it will provide the rescheduled date once it is available.

2:50 p.m. update

Flagler County announced it is requiring restaurants to remain at only 50-percent capacity and for bars to close by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

2:35 p.m. update

Volusia County officials made a motion to keep county beaches open but limit groupings to 10 people or less.

2:25 p.m. update

The Florida Forest Service announced Tuesday that it is ceasing tours and public outreach programs, and closing state campgrounds and campsites over coronavirus concerns.

2:15 p.m. update

The Florida Department of Health is reporting that there have now been nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Volusia County.

The county is scheduled to hold a meeting to discuss whether or not to close its beaches at 2:15 p.m.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida

1:55 p.m. update

Classes at public Florida universities, following the direction of the State University System, will remain online for the remainder of the spring semester.

The schools will also cancel their traditional in-person spring commencement ceremonies.

“This extension is meant to further reduce the introduction and spread of COVID-19, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said University of Central Florida interim President Thad Seymour Jr. in a statement.

The State University System published an update stating that traditional on-campus commencement ceremonies will not be held in May. Instead, each university has been directed to develop an alternate schedule or method of delivery.

“These decisions are based on our top priority: the safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the communities where COVID-19 could spread,” Seymour said.

Download the WFTV news app and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story, or click here to have updates sent straight to your inbox.

12:52 p.m. update

Channel 9 has created an interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida. Click here to see the map.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida

12:05 p.m. update

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said President Donald Trump wants the government to send checks to Americans “in the next two weeks” in an effort to curb the economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read more.

11:40 a.m. update

President Donald Trump is giving a live update on the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to watch live.

Trump continued to urge people to work from home if possible, to limit discretionary travel and to limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Download the WFTV news app and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story, or click here to have updates sent straight to your inbox.

11:10 a.m. update

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said there are now 192 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida.

He said of those infected, 173 people are Florida residents, and the remainder are visitors being treated in the state.

Read: Want to stay in your car? These popular local restaurants now offer curbside pickup

DeSantis said a sixth person in the state has died from the virus -- a 77-year-old man, who had underlying medical conditions, at a Broward County assisted living facility.

He said four students at the University of Florida have tested positive for the virus.

Bars and nightclubs in the state are suspended for 30 days, beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, DeSantis said. He also said restaurants will have to limit their occupancy numbers.

DeSantis recommended that all universities transition to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester.

Read: Coronavirus checklist: 100-plus disinfectants that may kill coronavirus on surfaces

He said the state’s beaches may not have groups larger than 10 people, and people should practice social distancing while at the beach.

10:42 a.m. update

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said all people are now prohibited from selling alcohol to be consumed on premises of bars, nightclubs and hotels until March 31.

Stores that sell alcohol that is not consumed on premises, such as liquor stores, are not affected by this, Dyer said.

He said city services will be delivered remotely, beginning Thursday, he said.

Dyer said the city’s neighborhood and senior centers as well as the Mennello Museum of American Art are closed.

Click here to watch the news conference live.

10:15 a.m. update

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be giving live updates on the city and the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to watch live once the news conferences begin.

7:40 a.m. update

Restaurants and bars are preparing for a low St. Patrick’s Day turnout after President Trump urged that gatherings should be limited to ten people.

Owners also told Channel 9 they aren’t sure how long they could last with a low number of patrons before exploring the possibility of closing their doors.

4:51 a.m. update

The Florida Department of Health announced Monday night it has identified the first presumptive-positive case of coronavirus in Brevard County.

Additional information such as whether the virus was travel-related, or the gender and age of the person infected, was not immediately available.

“The arrival of coronavirus in Brevard is neither a surprise nor catastrophic,” Brevard County Commission Chair Bryan Lober said in a news release. “The County has been taking preventative actions since January, actions which have been expanded in recent days. The county and our partner agencies have all necessary resources and support personnel to address this occurrence.”

Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV in 2014.

Christopher Boyce, WFTV.com

Christopher Boyce joined WFTV in January of 2019.

Sarah Wilson

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.