ORLANDO, Fla. — Read live updates below:
Osceola County officials provide list of when, where to wear face coverings
11:04 p.m. update
Osceola County officials provided a list of when and where residents should wear a face covering.
Officials said many residents have expressed concerns and questions regarding the new order.
The county provided the following statement on their Facebook page:
“The face covering order is not intended to be a punishment but is intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC’s guidance, a face covering can help stop the spread of the virus, especially if someone is asymptomatic. Local law enforcement has no desire to issue fines or to arrest those who violate this order. We all wish to educate the public on the need to pursue these protective measures for the overall well-being of our community at this time.”
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood gives update on coronavirus cases
10:02 p.m. update
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood gave an update on the cases in the county.
Chitwood said there were three new cases in the county, bringing the total to 193.
Chitwood also said a 1-year-old tested positive for the virus.
Read his post below:
Florida unemployment website down tonight
8:39 p.m. update
Connect, Florida’s Online Application for Reemployment Assistance will be unavailable tonight from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. for maintenance, according to the website.
Officials said the interruption in service won’t affect new applicants.
Orange County officials give live update
7:18 p.m. update
Orange County officials gave a live update from the Orange County Convention Center.
Officials said they will be able to do 400 tests on Monday. To be tested, individuals just need to have respiratory symptoms.
Watch the conference below:
7:05 p.m. update
Orange County officials are giving a live update on the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida Department of Health updates COVID-19 cases in state
6:38 p.m. update
The Florida Department of Health reported 492 additional cases of COVID-19 since Saturday morning, with the total number of cases now at 18,986.
Of the cases, 18,445 involve Florida residents and 541 involve nonresidents. So far, 2,528 people have been hospitalized.
Officials also reported 20 deaths since Saturday morning. The death toll in Florida now stands at 446.
Orange: 923 (914 earlier)
Polk: 244 (242 earlier)
Volusia: 193 (195 earlier)
Lake: 150 (149 earlier)
Brevard: 123 (120 earlier)
Sumter: 108 (107 earlier)
Marion: 87 (83 earlier)
Flagler: 46 (44 earlier)
U.S. Department of Agriculture approves Florida’s request to provide online grocery purchases through SNAP program
5:44 p.m. update
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has approved Florida’s request to provide online grocery purchases through the SNAP program.
Nearly 3 million Floridians participate in the program.
“I thank the USDA and Secretary Perdue for granting the state’s request to bring safer grocery options to Florida’s families in need,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried. “Through this innovative pilot program, SNAP households can purchase food online and pay using their EBT card at pickup, among other options. This reduces shopping risk from COVID-19, helps fulfill consumer demand, and keeps Florida-grown products moving to families.”
The Florida Department of Children and Families will determine the structure of the SNAP online program in Florida, through flexibility authorized by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
To find out more, click here.
Orlando Police Department thanks health care workers
5:01 p.m. update
The Orlando Police Department is thanking all medical professionals
Watch the video below:
Seminole County officials give update on case numbers
4:12 p.m. update
Seminole County officials said 244 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county.
Leaders said 238 people are Seminole County residents.
There have been two COVID-19 related deaths in the county.
Florida Department of Education providing more than 32,000 laptops to rural school districts
2:55 p.m. update
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the Florida Department of Education is providing more than 32,000 laptops to rural school districts, including Flagler County.
See a list of school districts below:
Disney World furloughs
1:45 p.m. update
Service Trades Council Union -- a council of six unions that represent 43,000 Walt Disney World workers -- said Saturday it has agreed to a temporary furlough, beginning April 19.
The furlough was caused by the theme-park resort’s indefinite closure amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is a decision that the union doesn't like. However, it's within the company's right to lay off and furlough employees in this situation," said Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here Local 362.
Clinton said Disney has agreed to provide union members who have health care benefits with free health care for 12 months.
He said workers will immediately be eligible to apply for state unemployment benefits.
In addition to the health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and other employee assistance programs will continue during the furlough.
Fewer than 200 workers are considered essential and will remain on the job.
Anyone who needs to be tested for COVID-19 may do so at no cost, Clinton said.
Click here to read the full agreement.
Disney World and other theme parks across the U.S. have been closed since mid-March. A reopening date has not been set.
New coronavirus cases
11:30 a.m. update
The Florida Department of Health reported 526 additional cases of COVID-19 since Friday evening, with the total number of cases now at 18,494.
Of the cases, 17,961 involve Florida residents and 533 involve nonresidents. So far, 2,528 people have been hospitalized.
Officials also reported 19 deaths since Friday evening. The death toll in Florida now stands at 438.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday he hopes to increase the number of people who can be tested daily at drive-thru testing sites in Orlando, Miami Gardens and Jacksonville by using private labs.
A federal mandate currently limits the daily number of tests to 250.
DeSantis said hospitals have a 43% availability rate statewide.
Watch live, in-depth coverage of the pandemic on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at Noon.
I-4 Ultimate construction
10:30 a.m. update
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has ordered the Florida Department of Transportation to speed up construction on the I-4 Ultimate Project in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeSantis said FDOT will accelerate construction by one to two months on several segments of the project in Orange and Seminole counties.
He said crews will focus on completing the main travel lanes of westbound Interstate 4 from State Road 434 in Longwood through downtown Orlando and the State Road 408 interchange.
FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault said he hopes to open the new interchange to drivers by July 4.
“I think this is taking advantage of an opportunity, and I think we’ll be better for it,” DeSantis said during a news conference.
Typically, 100,000 to 120,000 drivers take I-4 daily, depending on the segment, Thibault said. But because of the pandemic, that number has dropped to about 40,000, he said.
DeSantis said crews will increase daytime operations by closing more lanes of I-4.
He said there will be no additional cost to accelerate construction.
Watch the full news conference below:
DeSantis gives coronavirus update
10 a.m. update
Florida Gov. Ron Desantis is giving a live update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to watch the news conference live.
Disney, union reach furlough agreement
9:10 a.m. update
North America’s Building Trades Unions Craft Maintenance Council and Walt Disney World released the following joint statement Friday:
"North America’s Building Trades Unions Craft Maintenance Council and Disney have reached an agreement for hourly Facilities and Operations Services cast members that covers both the manner and method of retaining a reduced maintenance crew as well as temporary furloughs while Walt Disney World remains closed to the public.
"Members on furlough will maintain health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19.
"This agreement provides an easier return to work when our community recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
We are grateful to have worked together in good faith to help our cast and members navigate these unprecedented times.”
The Service Trades Council Union, which comprises six member unions that represent 43,000 Disney workers, said it will release details of its agreement with Disney on union members’ benefits, employment status and future return to work during a during a Facebook Live at noon Saturday.
Sheriff suspends critical union president
8:10 a.m. update
A Florida sheriff has suspended a union president who has been critical of the sheriff’s response to the coronavirus.
Attorney Eric Schwartzreich said Friday that his client Jeff Bell had been suspended with pay from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Bell is the president of the 1,400-member Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association.
The animosity between Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony and the union president grew Tuesday when Bell penned a newspaper column, blasting Tong.
Schwartzreich said Bell was doing his job as union president to voice concerns for safety.
Tony has accused Bell of exhibiting conduct that is unbecoming.
DeSantis to give coronavirus update
6:40 a.m. update
Florida Gov. Ron Desantis is scheduled to hold a live news conference at 10 a.m. in Tallahassee to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to watch it live once it begins.
5:50 a.m. update
Florida officials said they have expanded testing for the coronavirus to get a better sense of how widespread infections have become, as the disease spreads up and down the state.
Gov. Ron Desantis said Friday during a news conference in Jacksonville that anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get tested at three government-run sites in Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami.
That is also true for anyone who may be asymptomatic but have had close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Florida had about 18,000 total cases, with the number of deaths exceeding 400.
There have been about 2,500 people currently hospitalized with the disease.
Cox Media Group