ORLANDO, Fla. — See our in-depth coverage below:
See updates below:
8:30 p.m. update
Lake County officials have announced 82 confirmed cases.
6:30 p.m. update
Cases in Florida hit 9,008 as of Thursday evening, surging past the 8,010 reported Thursday morning, according to the Department of Health.
Of those cases, 8,694 are Florida residents.
There have been 144 coronavirus-related deaths in the state, compared to 128 this morning.
Orange County leads Central Florida with 541 cases, up from 502 earlier in the day.
Here’s a county breakdown for Central Florida:
Orange: 541 (502 this morning)
Seminole: 145 (136 this morning)
Volusia: 102 (100 this morning)
Brevard: 49 (48 this morning)
Osceola: 170 (153 this morning)
Lake: 82 (76 this morning)
Sumter: 66 (63 this morning)
Flagler: 25 (24 this morning)
Polk: 103 (92 this morning)
Marion: 33 (no change)
6:15 p.m. update
The Walt Disney Company has announced it will furlough “employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time” beginning April 19, a spokesperson said Thursday.
Disney employees have received full pay and benefits until April 19, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation.
Furloughed employees will remain Disney employees during the furlough, and will receive full health care benefits. Those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program.
In addition, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some of it at the start of the furlough period, the spokesperson said.
Once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance.
5 p.m. update
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state is suspending evictions and foreclosures for 45 days.
He said 25% of the cases in the state are in residents ages 65 and older.
In addition, DeSantis announced that more resources will be deployed to assist the Department of Economic Opportunity with their reemployment assistance efforts, including at call centers and other citizen services.
The move is to assist with the overwhelming demand for unemployment during the pandemic.
“We want to be able to utilize all the manpower we have,” DeSantis said.
See the full news conference below:
4:20 p.m. update
Volusia County officials announced that all of its beaches and beach access will be closed beginning at midnight.
Those who repeatedly violate the closure will be issued a $500 fine for a misdemeanor.
Watch the news conference below:
4:10 p.m. update
Volusia County leader are live, providing a press conference to update about coronavirus pandemic.
3:15 p.m. update
The Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships, which many people on board have become ill are showing signs of COVID-19, will be allowed to dock at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Mayor Dean Trantalis said Thursday in a Facebook post.
The Coast Guard, Homeland Security, state and federal health officials and Broward County reached the decision, Trantalis said.
“Many residents of our community have been apprehensive about this possibility, fearful that the ships’ arrival here could contribute to the spread of the virus locally. I met yesterday with the president of Holland America to share these concerns. Holland America agreed to a strict set set of protocols if the county decided to allow the ships to dock,” Trantalis said.
“They are representing to us that these protocols are intended to protect our community by ensuring there is no contact with local residents” he said. “The vast majority of passengers are not ill and have no symptoms. They will be placed on private chartered buses, taken directly to the airport tarmac and board chartered flights out of our community. A small number of critically ill passengers will go to local hospitals. Others who are mildly ill or have symptoms will be quarantined at sea on the ships until they recover.”
Among those on the Zaandam is a couple from Mount Dora. The son of the man who is on board said his father has been sick with flu-like symptoms on the ship. At least four people have died on the cruise.
2:00 p.m. update
Channel 9 reporter Lauren Seabrook posted a photo of her wearing a face mask on WFTV’s Instagram. She said she has asthma and her doctor recommends she wear one at all times.
12:46 p.m. update
Coaches, players and staff members of the Orlando Magic released a video thanking all healthcare workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
You can view the video below.
12:20 p.m. update
The drive-thru COVID-19 testing center at the Orange County Convention Center reached its testing limit of 250 tests before noon on Thursday for the second day in a row.
11:20 a.m. update
The number of coronavirus cases in Florida topped 8,000 on Thursday with the Florida Department of Health reporting 8,010 cases in the state up from 7,773 Tuesday night. The department also reported 27 more deaths over night bringing the total in Florida to 128.
The updated death toll includes one in Orange County, one in Osceola County, one in Flagler County and two in Lake County.
Cases in Orange County have also topped 500. See a full county-by-county breakdown of the latest case numbers below:
Orange: 502 (458 last night)
Seminole: 136 (128 last night)
Volusia: 100 (93 last night)
Brevard: 48 (47 last night)
Osceola: 153 (140 last night)
Lake: 76 (71 last night)
Sumter: 63 (57 last night)
Marion: 33 (30 last night)
Polk: 92 (91 last night)
10:30 a.m. update:
The Volusia County Government will hold a media conference today at 4 p.m. in the Emergency Operations Center.
The curfew Daytona Beach issued begins tonight at 10p.m.
10:00 a.m. update:
Rep. Darren Soto says he will host a Coronavirus Facebook Live Town Hall to discuss the pandemic. He says he will specifically discuss how Central Floridians will benefit from the CARES Act.
8:40 a.m. update:
8:03 a.m. update:
The coronavirus testing site located at the Orange County Convention Center is slated to reopen at 9 a.m.
The site was forced to close Wednesday just a few hours after opening due to administering the maximum amount of tests for the day.
7:08 a.m. update:
Rep. Val Demings is expected to hold a town hall via telephone Thursday evening to provide an update on the coronavirus pandemic.
The town hall is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
For additional information, click here.
5:15 a.m. update:
The Kissimmee Utility Authority has extended its moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment amid the coronavirus pandemic. The suspension of disconnections originally ran until March 31, but the company announced the suspension will now remain in effect until further notice.
Customers having trouble paying their utility bill should call the utility at 407-933-9800
Residents can find more information here.
4:22 a.m. update:
The Florida Department of Health has updated the amount of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida.
Officials said the total number of reported COVID-19 cases has increased by 818 to a total of 7,773.
Of the cases, 7,495 cases involve Florida residents and 278 cases involve nonresidents.
Officials reported 14 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the state’s total to 101.
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