How did Florida surpass 500,000 COVID-19 cases?

ORLANDO, Fla. — More than half a million people in Florida have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Data released Wednesday includes an additional 5,409 cases of coronavirus statewide, pushing the total number of positive tests to 502,739 since the pandemic began, more than some entire countries.

The state also said another 227 people died from coronavirus-related illness, causing Florida’s death toll to climb to 7,751.

Watch: Mayor Dyer says Orlando bars might not reopen until vaccine is available


The 227 deaths reported statewide Wednesday involved 64 Central Florida residents, including 16 in Seminole County, 12 in Polk County, nine each in Orange and Brevard counties, seven in Lake County, six in Osceola County, three in Volusia County and two in Sumter County.

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The number of negative test results statewide stands at 3,312,143.

Florida is now only second to California in terms of cases in the U.S., and makes up about 10% of the cases nationwide.

But how did we get here?

On March 1, Florida reported its first two COVID-19 cases: A 29-year-old woman who had just been to Italy, and a 63-year-old man.

By March 31, the state had about 6,700 cases and 85 deaths. The next day, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order.

On April 21, with nearly 28,000 cases and close to 900 deaths, the governor said that Florida had “flattened the curve” in the state.

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Restaurants and stores opened with limited capacity on May 4, and bars reopened in June 5.

By June 26, the state had ordered bars close for onsite consumption after outbreaks were traced back to some places.

On July 1, Florida had close to 160,000 cases and 3,700 deaths. That then exploded to about 470,000 cases by July 31 and nearly 7,000 deaths.

Florida now has more cases than the entire country of Mexico, Peru, Chile, Italy and China.

However, cases are starting to trend downward, with less than 10,000 new cases daily the past 11 days.

See a county-by-county breakdown of cases below, and click here for an interactive map of cases statewide:

Orange: 30,425 (+285)

Polk: 13,419 (+188)

Osceola: 9,156 (+138)

Seminole: 6,826 (+66)

Brevard: 5,712 (+41)

Volusia: 7,372 (+84)

Flagler: 975 (+14)

Lake: 4,794 (+24)

Marion: 5,543 (+109)

Sumter: 1,180 (+17)

Click here to find out where to find COVID-19 testing in Central Florida.

Update: More than 100 hand sanitizers are now considered dangerous by FDA

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for updates.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.