TIMELINE: Coronavirus updates March 20

Click here for the Spanish version-ÚLTIMA HORA CORONAVIRUS: Otro oficial del Aeropuerto Int’l de Orlando da positivo; Toque de queda para Osceola, Orange

See our full coverage below:

10 p.m. update

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a statewide “stay-at-home” order in response to the increased cases of COVID-19.

Read her full statement below:

“I want to recognize the difficult choices the Governor has had to make in this public health crisis. No Governor in recent history would have expected to have to make a decision like California, New York, or Illinois have made in the past 72 hours. Shutting down one of the nation’s largest states is a decision that will have an economic impact – but it is a decision that will save lives. Based on the data, we know we are a week behind California’s vast increase in COVID-19 cases. The individuals and businesses I’ve spoken with are growing more anxious by the day. As the nation’s third largest state, we need to go further, and we cannot afford to lose another week. I am asking the Governor to consider implementing a statewide “stay-at-home” order, closing all non-essential businesses for a reasonable timeframe, after which time the situation could be reassessed. A piecemeal approach of closing certain communities and businesses risks sowing further confusion. I encourage the Governor to take this decisive action today to save lives and preserve Florida’s economy for our shared future. I will stand by the Governor should he make this difficult decision, and I implore him to do so now.”

7:30 p.m. update

Marion County officials have confirmed the first positive case in the county.

The resident infected is a 59-year-old female and is self-isolated, officials said. It is not believed that she recently traveled internationally.

See the full news conference below:

Marion County Emergency Operations Center - Update

Posted by Marion County, Florida on Friday, March 20, 2020

7 p.m. update

A third TSA officer at Orlando International Airport has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release.

The screening officer last worked on March 16 at the east checkpoint from 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., according to the TSA.

Previously, two TSA west checkpoint screening officers tested positive. One of them last worked on March 10 from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and the other last worked on March 11 from noon to 8:30 p.m., according to TSA.

“TSA confirms today that two additional Transportation Security Officers who work at Orlando International Airport have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus," TSA said in a written statement. “One officer is resting at home and the other is receiving medical care at a hospital. TSA employees who have come in contact with the officers during the past 14 days were notified and provided direction on next steps."

Security screening checkpoints remain open and the agency is working with the CDC and the Orange County Department of Health to monitor the situation, the CDC said.

6 p.m. update

The Florida Department of Health is reporting that there are now 563 cases of the coronavirus in Florida and that 11 people have died from the virus in the state. That is up from 520 cases and 10 deaths reported Friday morning.

That includes one new case in Orange County, two new cases in Seminole County and one in case in Volusia County.

Read the county-by-county breakdown below:


  • Orange: 23 (22 Friday morning)
  • Seminole: 10 (8 Friday morning)
  • Volusia: 10 (9 Friday morning)


  • Osceola: 13
  • Brevard: 4
  • Lake: 3
  • Sumter: 2
  • Flagler: 0
  • Marion: 0

Click here for the Spanish version-ÚLTIMA HORA CORONAVIRUS: Otro oficial del Aeropuerto Int’l de Orlando da positivo; Toque de queda para Osceola, Orange

>>> INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida <<<

5:15 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis said two people died from COVID-19 and seven other people are infected at an assisted living facility in Broward County. He said officials believe the virus infiltrated the facility from an outside employee.

He also said The Villages will soon have a drive-through testing site for COVID-19.

5 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the Florida Department of Health has more than 700 school nurses ready to help with the COVID-19 response.

4:55 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is expecting an even bigger spike in unemployment this week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

4:53 p.m. update

Gov. Rod DeSantis said he is prohibiting hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices, and other health care practitioners’ from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery.

4:45 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding a news conference to discuss the spread of COVID-19 in Florida.


4:20 p.m. update

A person who stayed at the Orlando Coalition for the Homeless Thursday night has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Also, a doctor at the Cano Health Center tested positive for the virus. The center has closed its doors and all patients have been notified.

3:07 p.m. update

Mayor Jerry Demings said there are 22 cases of coronavirus in Orange County.

Demings issued a nightly curfew for Orange County beginning at 11 p.m. tonight and ending at 5 a.m. Saturday. The curfew will be in place each night until further notice.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said all city facilities are closed to the public.

Both mayors encourage social distancing.


2:35 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday directing all restaurants to suspend all dine-in food and alcohol consumption inside establishments.

Restaurants can continue to operate through take out or delivery.

DeSantis also ordered all gyms to be closed in the state.

2:15 p.m. update

Seminole County officials said all information regarding the coronavirus can be found here.

Officials also talked about how people can get tested in Seminole County. They recommend if you have respiratory symptoms to call your health care provider first.

Officials said about 80% of people who test positive for coronavirus have mild symptoms.

Seminole officials are advising all residents to stay home to reduce the spread of the virus.

2:00 p.m. update

Seminole County officials are giving an update on coronavirus.


1:15 p.m. update

Palm Coast officials said they have have closed all park playgrounds, pavilions and restrooms to the public until further notice.

1 p.m. update

Orange County Public Schools and Orange Education Support Professionals Association reached an agreement Friday to pay any classified employee during the period beginning on Monday until June 30 who is unable to work (or telework) due to:

  • Symptoms of acute respiratory illness
  • Are “high risk” under the guidance of the CDC
  • Serve as primary caregiver of third parties who would be considered “high risk”
  • Are returning from international travel or cruises or have been exposed to a person with a documented positive testing for COVID-19

The district said employees that do not fall into those categories will receive full pay but are only required to work four hours per day. Their return date is Monday

The district agreed to meet all safety measures as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention including not having groups of employees greater than 10 gather and maintaining the recommended “social distancing” standard of 6 feet between individuals.

12:10 p.m. update

President Trump announced Friday that the government is temporarily waiving interest on federally-held student loans.

He said the U.S.-Mexico border is also being closed to all non-essential travel.

11:50 a.m. update

White House officials are scheduled to provide an update on the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. any minute.


11:15 a.m. update

The Florida Department of Health announced Friday morning that the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has jumped to 520 from 432 Thursday night, including new cases in Orange and Brevard counties. Those cases include 474 Florida resident, and 46 non-residents.

The department is also reporting an additional death, which brings the death toll in the state up to 10


Orange: 22 (19 last night)

Brevard: 4 (3 last night)


Seminole: 8 (the local Seminole County health department reported 13 on Thursday)

Osceola: 13

Volusia: 9 (one of these is a Volusia County resident who tested positive in Flagler County)

Lake: 3

Sumter: 2

Marion: 0

Flagler: 0

>>> INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida <<<

10:55 a.m. update

runDisney officials announced Friday that the 2020 Star Wars Rival Run Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, scheduled for April 16-19, has been canceled.

“In an abundance of caution, the 2020 Star Wars Rival Run Weekend will be cancelled. In addition, because our runDisney races require the presence of local medical professionals and first responders to monitor and treat runners, this will free up those resources for more critical needs during this time,” officials said in an update posted on the runDisney website.

Officials said all participants who purchased their registrations on runDisney.com will receive a refund for their race registration.

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.

10:32 a.m. update

The Orange County Tax Collector’s Office will close to the public effective Friday at 5 p.m. until further notice, Tax Collector Scott Randolph said. The office will continue to provide services online, by email and telephone with limited personnel.

10:30 a.m. update

Beginning at noon Friday, all Brevard County government facilities will be closed to the public for the health and safety of county residents and county employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The closure will extend through at least Wednesday, April 15.

10:25 a.m. update

The city of Cocoa Beach has announced a temporary ban on consuming/possessing alcoholic beverages on beaches of Cocoa Beach.

10 a.m. update

The hours of operations for the Lake County COVID-19 Information Line hours have been extended to Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can call 352-742-4830 with any coronavirus, COVID-19, questions or concerns.

8:13 a.m. update:

Flagler County county officials have been notified by the Florida Department of Health that there is a person who tested positive for coronavirus in the county. The patient is a resident of Volusia County.

The case isn’t counted as an additional one and is a part of the nine reported cases in Volusia County.

4:50 a.m. update:

Starting Friday and lasting through Sunday, county officials said people can no longer drive their vehicles on New Smyrna Beach.

The restriction begins Saturday for all other beaches in Volusia County.

Read: Vehicles banned from Volusia County beaches over coronavirus concerns

Volusia County made the decision Thursday evening as a crowd-control measure due to the coronavirus.

County officials said they’ll reevaluate if they want to reverse the decision over the weekend.

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.

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.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.