TIMELINE: Coronavirus - Friday, May 8

ORLANDO, Fla. — Nota en español: Todo lo que ocurre con la pandemia en Florida Central, 8 mayo

Read live updates below:

10:30 p.m. update

Social distancing, contact tracing helping slow the spread of COVID-19

Experts say two things are helping slow the spread of COVID-19: social distancing and contact tracing.

See our full in-depth report below:

7:46 p.m. update

Orange County begin antibody testing Saturday

Orange County leaders announced that they will begin antibody testing for the coronavirus Saturday at the Orange County Convention Center.

The testing will be available to first responders and health care workers.

The testing will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and is first-come, first-served, leaders said.

Officials said the convention center has 80 tests allocated per day and those who wish to be tested need to have a valid ID.

Leaders said the test will be a blood test and clients will remain on site for their results, which is around 20 minutes.

Read: Coronavirus: 9 facts about antibody testing

4:26 p.m. update

Orange County to lift curfew on Monday

During a press conference, Orange County leaders said the curfew in the county will be lifted Monday at 5:01 a.m.

4:08 p.m. update

Orange County providing update on COVID-19 pandemic

Orange County leaders are giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Watch in full below:

3:11 p.m. update

Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons to reopen Monday, Florida officials say

Florida is allowing hair salons, barber shops and nail salons to reopen Monday, with enhanced safety protocols for all counties in phase one of the reopening Florida plan.

J Henry, owner of J Henry’s Barber Shop, said people in the businesses will have to wear gloves, wear a mask, and book appointments.

Watch the video below:

3:08 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis extends state of emergency for 60 days

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has extended the state of emergency in Florida for 60 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said his reopening Florida plan will remain in effect.

To read the order, click here.

1:44 p.m. update

Palm Beach County can move into phase one of reopening plan, DeSantis says

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Palm Beach County can now move into phase one of the reopening plan.

1:28 p.m. update

Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving an update on COVID-19 in West Palm Beach

Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in West Palm Beach.


11:59 a.m. update

Ocala mayor to not enforce DeSantis’ reopening orders, guidelines

Ocala’s mayor said he will be asking police not to enforce the governor’s orders of staying home and the opening of restaurants at 25 percent capacity.

“We are not going to go around the city and count occupancy or capacity in restaurants,” said Mayor Kent Guinn during a Friday briefing.

The mayor also said the city won’t be closing churches or arresting people for gathering in groups of 10 or more.

Guinn believes the orders are hurting the state’s economy and the people.

11:30 a.m. update

Florida reports 69 more COVID-19-related deaths, 5 in Central Florida, and 371 new cases

Florida health officials reported 69 more coronavirus-related deaths and 371 new cases of the virus since Thursday morning.

Officials said five of those deaths were in Central Florida, including two in Seminole County, and one each in Volusia, Brevard and Polk counties.

There are now a total of 39,199 reported cases of coronavirus in the state and 1,669 deaths related to the virus.

See the latest case numbers by county below:


Orange: 1,479 (1,474 yesterday)

Volusia: 537 (534 yesterday)

Brevard: 327 (325 yesterday)

Osceola: 553 (544 yesterday)

Sumter: 239 (238 yesterday)

Flagler: 147 (145 yesterday)

Polk: 601 (594 yesterday)


Seminole: 410

Lake: 237

Marion: 202

Nota en español: Todo lo que ocurre con la pandemia en Florida Central, 8 mayo

11 a.m. update:

Gov. Ron DeSantis providing coronavirus update

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is hosting a news conference from Jacksonville at 11 a.m. to give an update on the coronavirus outbreak in the state.

Click here to watch the news conference live.

9:40 a.m. update:

Reopening plan announced for Florida State Forest campsites, campgrounds and recreational areas

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the state forest officials announced Phase One of reopening Florida State Forest campgrounds, campsites, and recreation areas.

Effective Friday, most campgrounds, primitive campsites and trailheads located on state forests will reopen with limited capacity, according to the Florida Forest Service.

Campsite reservations must be made here or by calling 877-879-3859.

8:21 a.m. update:

Gov. DeSantis to provide COVID-19 update

Gov. Ron DeSantis will be holding an 11 a.m. press conference to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida.

The governor will be speaking from Jacksonville.

>>>You can watch his remarks LIVE here<<<

7:32 a.m. update:

SeaWorld takes huge earnings blow amid outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has continued to damage Central Florida’s tourism industry, with theme parks receiving huge blows to their earnings.

SeaWorld’s first quarter report shows total revenue plummeted by $67 million dollars compared to its first quarter of 2019.

Before the pandemic, SeaWorld saw a 9 percent increase in the number of guests through February.

The first quarter ran through the end of March.

Read: Winter Park to close busy road to allow additional seating for Mother’s Day weekend dining

6:06 a.m. update:

Mayor Dyer to deliver lunch to firefighters

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and city officials will deliver lunch to honor the Orlando Fire Department for their work providing public safety during COVID-19.

The mayor is expected to deliver the lunch at 11:30 a.m.

4:29 a.m. update:

Disney Springs to begin phased reopening

Disney officials announced Disney Springs will begin a phased reopening on May 20.

Officials said a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during the first phase.

The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and resort hotels, Disney officials said.

Read: Orange County reopening task force seeks public feedback on reopening plans

Disney Springs officials said it will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members.

Officials said during the initial opening phase, Disney Springs will have limitations on capacity, parking and operating hours.

For additional information, click here.


Christopher Boyce, WFTV.com

Christopher Boyce joined WFTV in January of 2019.