TIMELINE: Florida coronavirus cases reach 149; CDC recommends gatherings of no more than 50 people for 8 weeks

ORLANDO, Fla. — 8:20 p.m. update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement Sunday recommending gatherings of more than 50 people to be cancel or postpone for the next 8 weeks.

“Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies,” CDC officials said.

Officials said this recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.

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“This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus,” according to a statement.

7:20 p.m. update

The Florida Department of Health is reporting the total number of COVID-19, the coronavirus, cases in Florida has risen to 149 people.

This is an increase from 115 coronavirus patients in Florida that was announced at 1:45 a.m.

The locations of the new cases have not been released.

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Watch Gov. Ron DeSantis 6:30 p.m. update on the coronavirus:

6:44 p.m. update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is recommending organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States over the next eight weeks.

State officials said they are working to get more healthcare equipment around the state to protect workers and 500 test kits have been distributed to health departments across the state.

Officials said no visitors will be allowed in nursing homes or long-term care facilities for 30 days in Florida with few exceptions.

The best way to avoid COVID-19 is to avoid crowds, officials said.

5:44 p.m. update

The Federal Reserve has made an emergency economic intervention, slashing interest rates to 0% in an effort to buoy markets during uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

5:30 p.m. update

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence addressed the nation Sunday evening.

They both said grocery stores will remain open throughout the coronavirus pandemic and are urging people to only buy their weekly needs while shopping.

Pence said the risk of coronavirus remains low, however the elderly and those with health issues remain vulnerable.

Pence also said to continue practicing good hygeine.

5:18 p.m. update

President Trump is giving an update on coronavirus.

WATCH LIVE: President Trump is giving an update on coronavirus

WATCH LIVE: President Trump is giving an update on coronavirus

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Sunday, March 15, 2020

4:40 p.m. update

The city of Palm Coast has declared a local state of emergency.

Mayor Milissa Holland signed the declaration Sunday afternoon.

Holland released the following statement in an email:

"I am signing an official order declaring a local State of Emergency for the City of Palm Coast.

"It allows our staff to take the necessary actions to address the emergency situations that may arise along with accessing the necessary federal and state support.

"Now is the time to educate yourself on COVID-19 symptoms and what you can do to help prevent the spread of this disease.

"As the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continues to shape our daily lives, affecting how, where, and when we work, getting sick or anxious, or worrying if our families are at risk, it’s easy to feel like your individual actions may not matter in the grand scheme of things. But every single one of us plays a part in our community’s health.

“I am encouraging all of you to frequently wash your hands, stay home if you feel sick, and limit contact with others, as advised by the CDC. Please shop responsibly and be respectful of your neighbors. As a community we will find a path forward.”

3:24 p.m. update

The Transportation Security Administration said a Fort Lauderdale screening officer tested positive for COVID-19. The officer last worked March 3 at checkpoint F (Terminal 3) from 2:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Also, the Orlando International Officer who tested positive last worked March 10 at gates 1-59 checkpoint.

3:02 p.m. update

The Orlando Sanford International Airport said it is “open and operating as usual" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The airport said it has increased cleaning efforts throughout the terminal and added additional hand sanitizers.

1:22 p.m. update

The Orange County superintendent, Barbara Jenkins, sent out a brief message to families regarding the extended spring break and other concerns parents may have due to coronavirus.

In a Facebook post, Jenkins released the following:

"At this point, we await clarification from the state regarding student make up day requirements vs waived days.

"All field trips of any type are suspended until further notice.

"Spring break camps are NOT suspended for the coming week.

"Efforts to feed children who normally receive free and reduced price lunches are being arranged.

"Students and staff returning from international or cruise travel will be expected to self-isolate as indicated earlier. Every effort will be made to accommodate remote learning in such cases.

"Preparations are in place for digital and remote learning for all schools if needed.

“In the meantime, we encourage you to use some of your spare time for writing, research, math games, Khan Academy and of course READING.”

11:25 a.m. update

Seminole County Public Schools said it will be providing free breakfast and lunch meals for its students during the extended school closure period of March 23 through March 27.

Here are the locations where students can pick-up meals:

  • Casselberry Elementary - 1075 Cystal Bowl Circle, Casselberry, Florida 32707
  • English Estates Elementary - 299 Oxford Road, Fern Park, Florida 32730
  • Midway Elementary - 2368 Brisson Avenue, Sanford, Florida 32771
  • Pine Crest Elementary - 405 W. 27th Street, Sanford, Florida 32773
  • Spring Lake Elementary - 695 Orange Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714
  • Wicklow Elementary - 100 Placid Lake Drive, Sanford, Florida 32773
  • Winter Springs Elementary -701 W. State Road 434, Winter Springs, Florida 32708

Officials said meals will be available for pick-up between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the car loop of each school site.

10 a.m. update

AdventHealth said it is preparing to treat potential COVID-19 patients in a number of scenarios.

Officials said they are planning to install tents if additional space is needed to care for the community. They said “the tents are not currently in use, but will remain in place as part of our readiness efforts.”

9:45 a.m. update

Overnight, the Florida Department of Health announced 39 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Two additional cases were reported in Central Florida. A 71-year-old man tested positive in Volusia County and a 48-year-old woman tested positive in Orange County.

The Florida Department of Health said both patients are in isolation.

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Katlyn Brieskorn,

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

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