TIMELINE: Coronavirus updates March 23

TIMELINE: Coronavirus updates March 23
(WFTV.com News Staff)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida health officials said 1,227 cases and 18 deaths have been reported in the state.

See our nightly in-depth coverage below:

Gov. DeSantis said a shelter-in-place is not likely for the state of Florida as numbers continue to rise.

Read live updates below:

10:30 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking President Donald Trump to declare a Major Disaster for Florida as the state responds to COVID-19.

In his letter to the president, DeSantis requests disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, community disaster loans and the disaster supplemental nutrition program.

Read the full letter by clicking here.

7 p.m. update

The Florida Department of Health said there are now 1,227 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida and 18 deaths.

The agency said 1,147 of those cases involve Florida residents and 80 are nonresidents.

There are three new cases in Orange County, two new cases in Seminole and Lake counties and one new case each in Osceola and Volusia counties. Click here to see a map of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida.

A fifth Transportation Security Administration officer at Orlando International Airport has tested positive for the coronavirus, the agency said.

Officials said the screening officer worked at the airport’s West Checkpoint and was last at work March 10.

Click here to read about other cases of TSA workers testing positive for the virus.

President Donald Trump is giving a live update on the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to watch it live.

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.


5:35 p.m. update

The White House is expected to give a live update on the coronavirus pandemic at any minute.

Click here to watch the news conference live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 5.


5:20 p.m. update

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference Monday that all people who fly to Florida from New York or New Jersey must self-quarantine for 14 days.

He said statewide lockdowns have caused people to travel to Florida.

DeSantis said he does not want to impose a shelter-in-place order in Florida because it would “throw lives into disarray” and cost “hundred of thousands of jobs.”

Watch his news conference below, and click here to watch live updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 5.


5 p.m. update

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving a live update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to watch him speak live.

See our in-depth coverage below:

Coverage from 5 p.m.


4:25 p.m. update

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wants to avoid imposing a statewide lockdown, saying he still believes targeting the counties hardest hit by the coronavirus for the most extreme measures is the preferable path.

DeSantis said about a third of Florida’s 67 counties have no confirmed cases and another third have few, so he doesn’t yet see the need to impose a near shutdown on their businesses that have been imposed in large, heavily infected counties such as Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

He has ordered statewide closures of bars and gyms and limited restaurants to takeout and delivery and some counties have gone farther, closing not only nonessential businesses but also beaches, marinas and parks.

DeSantis said he doesn’t want to cause unnecessary financial hardship or create unintended consequences such as people fleeing the state and spreading the disease.


3:15 p.m. update

Parents: Do you need a break from being cooped up in the house while still social distancing?

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said it will start holding nightly drive-thru parades for families this week.

Residents will be able to see the agency’s fleet of vehicles, its K-9 unit and even receive candy delivered by a robot.

Watch the video below for details:


3 p.m. update

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey will hold a live news conference at 3 p.m. about his agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said he will also announce a new program for parents and children that will launch Tuesday evening.

Click here to watch him speak live.


1:43 p.m. update

NASA said Monday it was notified Sunday that a Kennedy Space Center employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This employee was last at the Center more than 10 days ago,” an agency spokesman said. “Based on the circumstances and elapsed time since the employee was on site, we believe it was acquired after they had started teleworking, and there is no additional risk at the center from this person.”

The agency said Space Center employees are required to telework and that access to the center is being restricted to mission-essential personnel only.


1:30 p.m. update

The city of Orlando said it will close all city-owned and operated playgrounds and the swan boats at Lake Eola Park at 5 p.m. Monday until further notice.

“Our outdoor facilities, such as our city parks, Leu Gardens and Dubsdread Golf Course are open to the public, but residents must follow necessary social distancing measures while there,” said Karyn Barber, a city spokeswoman. “We encourage residents to use these facilities responsibly to get fresh air and exercise, which are important for physical and mental health always, but especially during this uncertain time.”


12:30 p.m. update

Testing for COVID-19 has begun at a mobile testing site in The Villages.

Seniors are able to be tested from their vehicles, including golf carts.

Testing is not limited to residents of The Villages. Officials said they recommend first making an appointment through UF Health’s website. Click here to do so.

Officials said they expect to collect 2,000 samples this week -- about 400 daily. Test results are completed within 24 hours.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said new data indicates that the hospitalization rate among cases appears to be lower than first thought, declining from 40% to 20%.

“Some people think you really don’t spread it until you start to show some symptoms. Other people think people who don’t even know they have it are the ones who are spreading it,” he said. “So this will help give us some data on that, and I really applaud them being able to do that because that’s going to be some of the most valuable information.”

Scroll down below to watch DeSantis’ full news conference.


11:25 a.m. update

The Florida Department of Health said Monday that there are now 1,171 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida and 14 deaths.

The agency said 1,096 of those cases involve Florida residents and 75 are nonresidents.

There are 12 new cases in Orange County, three new cases in Sumter County, two new cases in Flagler County and one new case each in Seminole, Volusia and Lake counties. Click here to see a map of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday during a news conference at a mobile testing site in The Villages that he is not yet willing to implement a shelter-in-place order.

"For every action, there's a reaction," he said.

DeSantis said he will implement more changes soon.

Bookmark this link and download the WFTV news app to watch live, in-depth coverage of the coronavirus pandemic on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at Noon.

Watch the governor’s latest news conference below:


10:30 a.m. update

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving a live update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at a mobile testing site in The Villages.site at 10:30 a.m. today.


6:44 a.m. update:

Gov. Ron DeSantis is slated to speak at The Villages coronavirus mobile testing site at 10:30 a.m. today.

You can watch the press conference LIVE here.

4:38 a.m. update:

Beginning Monday, officials with Orange County Public Schools and Seminole County Public Schools are offering free meals to provide relief for students amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Orange County students can pick up free meals from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from the car loop of their school. A student must be present to receive the meal.

Beginning Monday, officials with Orange County Public Schools and Seminole County Public Schools are offering free meals to provide relief for students amid the coronavirus outbreak.

For additional information on an Orange County school’s distribution point, click here.

Seminole County Public Schools will be handing out their meals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Click here to find a distribution site.

Click here to watch live, in-depth coronavirus coverage on Channel 9 Eyewitness News, and click here to read a full wrapup of Saturday’s coronavirus coverage.