Florida reports more than 6,600 new COVID-19 cases, 98 virus-related deaths

VIDEO: Florida reports more than 6,600 new COVID-19 cases, 98 virus-related deaths

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida health officials reported 6,659 new cases of COVID-19 as decisions are made regarding the vaccine and how it will be distributed.

To date, there have been 953,300 cases of COVID-19 reported in the state.

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There were another 98 deaths linked to the virus, according to the Florida Department of Health. Of the recent deaths, 11 were reported in Central Florida.

The state’s death toll now stand at 18,834, according to the most recent report.

A list of COVID-19 testing sites in Orange County can be found here.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday afternoon that schools will remain open for the spring 2021 semester and virtual learning will continue to be an option for parents.

DeSantis said school districts will have to notify parents if their child is struggling with distance learning.

He said those students must resume face-to-face learning unless their parents opt out.

DeSantis made the announcement during a new conference with Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran at Boggy Creek Elementary School near Kissimmee.

In vaccine news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet on Tuesday to consider how the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be allocated and how and to whom they will be administered.

As of Monday morning, two pharmaceutical companies have requested the U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization (EUA) so they can begin to distribute the vaccine.

See a county-by-county breakdown of total (and new) cases and deaths below, and click here for an interactive map of cases statewide.

Orange: CASES: 58,325 (+520) DEATHS: 645 (0)

Osceola: CASES: 18,354 (+106) DEATHS: 243 (+2)

Seminole: CASES: 12,940 (+69) DEATHS: 276 (+2)

Polk: CASES: 27,611 (+130) DEATHS: 678 (+4)

Volusia: CASES: 16,506 (+148) DEATHS: 370 (+2)

Brevard: CASES: 15,556 (+62) DEATHS: 444 (0)

Flagler: CASES: 2,746 (+17) DEATHS: 42 (0)

Lake: CASES: 10,671 (+48) DEATHS: 255 (+1)

Marion: CASES: 13,044 (+63) DEATHS: 379 (0)

Sumter: CASES: 3,467 (+25) DEATHS: 95 (0)

WATCH: DeSantis, education commissioner make announcement at Kissimmee school