Downtown Orlando businesses hoping Florida can reopen soon
ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said his task force to reopen the state had until today to come up with recommendations, but there’s still no word on when he will decide to do so.
The safer-at-home order expires April 30. However, DeSantis did not say if the state could reopen by then.
“I'm not concerned about specific dates as much as I'm concerned about getting it right,” DeSantis said during a news conference Friday.
Many bars have been closed for over a month now. Jeff Ekas, the owner of Casey’s on Central Boulevard said he’s ready to reopen his doors, even if it means limiting capacity to just 50%.
“We are anxious to open, even if it’s only at half-capacity (which is) better than no capacity,” Ekas said.
On April 18, DeSantis set a tight deadline for when his task force had to open, to help him decide what to do. He said they would be meeting via teleconference every day and provide recommendations by the end of this week.
In Georgia, the governor has already allowed places like gyms, nail salons and barber shops to reopen, followed by restaurants and movie theaters next week.
Ekas said he gets to soon turn his light back on as well.
“Whether it looks at wearing masks adding extra hand sanitizers stations using or offering plastic cups instead of glassware that can be disposed,” he said.
See our live updates below:
Orange County still in need of PPE
7 p.m. update
Orange County is starting to get some of the personal protective equipment it ordered from the state, but county officials say they still need more.
So far, the county has 86% of the ordered face shields, 62% of the ear-loop masks and 53% of the goggles it has ordered.
However, it only has 25% of the N95 masks, 19% of the gloves, 19% of hand sanitizer and 14% of gowns it requested.
As for sanitizing wipes, the county has received just 5%.
To meet the need of first responders, Orange County also distributes PPE to about 220 organizations such as municipalities, hospitals, assisted living facilities, memory care centers and nursing homes.
“It’s essential,” said Dr. Christian Zuver, medical director for Orange County EMS. “You see reports in many counties of outbreaks in the nursing care facilities and our goal is to prevent that.”
Zuver said they’ve received homemade masks and other types of donations for businesses.
See the full story below:
5 new COVID-19 deaths reported in Central Florida
6:30 p.m. update
One person has died in Orange County and one person has died in Seminole County, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The Orange County case was a 93-year-old man who has underlying health issues, according to the Health Department.
Here is a county breakdown of the latest numbers:
Orange: 1,290 (1,286 this morning), 1 death (30 total)
Seminole: 348 (344 this morning), 1 death (8 total)
Volusia: 428 (427 this morning)
Brevard: 247 (245 this morning)
Osceola: 461 (454 this morning)
Lake: 219 (217 this morning), 1 death (10 total)
Marion: 148 (145 this morning), 1 death (4 total)
Polk: 393 (387 this morning) 1 death (18 total)
Flagler: 106 (105 this morning)
Orange County receives $240M through CARES Act
6 p.m. update
Mayor Jerry Demings said the county has received $240 million through the CARES Act to help reimburse the community.
Of the first two days of this week’s mobile testing in Orange County, there were four positive results of about 375 people tested, according to health officials.
Of those, three of the four people had already counted as positive, and were coming back to be retested to see if they were over the virus yet.
See the news conference below
Orange County cases surpass 1,000
4:15 p.m. update
More than 1,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Orange County.
Five senators request WHO funding to be withheld
3:50 p.m. update
Senators Rick Scott, Ron Johnson, Thom Tillis, Steve Daines and Kevin Cramer sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leadership requesting that any funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) be withheld pending a Congressional hearing to investigate the WHO’s role in helping Communist China cover up information regarding the threat of the coronavirus.
Chamber releases list of I-Drive restaurants open for to-go orders
3:45 p.m. update
The International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce released a list of I-Drive restaurants that are providing to-go service throughout the coronavirus pandemic:
- Bahama Breeze Island Grille - International Drive
- Bar Louie - I-Drive
- Benihana - International Drive
- BJ's Restaurants & Brewhouse - International Drive
- Bonefish Grill SeaWorld
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Capital Grille - International Drive
- Carrabbas Italian Grill
- Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
- Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
- Denny's - I-Drive / Universal
- Denny's - Convention Center
- Denny's - International Drive
- Elements Bar and Grille
- Flippers Pizzeria - South International Drive
- Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
- Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant
- King's Pizza
- Kobe Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse
- LongHorn Steakhouse - Grand National
- LongHorn Steakhouse - International Drive
- Maggiano's Little Italy
- Mellow Mushroom
- Oishi Japanese Restaurant
- Olive Garden Italian Restaurant I-Drive
- Pollo Tropical - International Drive
- Red's Deli
- Sakura Sushi
- Saltgrass Steakhouse
- Shake Shack - International Drive
- Shogun Japanese Steakhouse
- Thai Thani Restaurant
- Vincenzo Cucina Italiana
- Yard House
New COVID-19 mobile testing sites in Orange County
12:12 p.m. update
Orange County leaders announced the new COVID-19 mobile testing sites.
Here are the dates and locations:
- Monday, April 27 - West Orange Park, 150 Windermere Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787
- Tuesday, April 28 - Apopka High School, 555 Martin Street, Apopka FL 32712
- Wednesday, April 29 - Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, FL 32805
- Thursday, April 30 - Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808
- Friday, May 1 - Jay Blanchard Park, 2451 N. Dean Road, Orlando, FL 32817
Officials said there is no criteria to be tested but you must make an appointment by calling 407-723-5004. The number is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Florida coronavirus cases top 30,000 with more than 1,000 deaths
11:10 a.m. update
Florida health officials said Friday morning that more than 1,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, and more than 30,000 people have tested positive for the virus.
As of Friday morning, data showed 30,174 cases of the virus in the state and 1,012 deaths. That is 526 more cases than Thursday night and 25 additional deaths, one of which was in Volusia County.
Read the latest case numbers county by county below:
Orange: 1,286 (1,274 last night)
Seminole: 344 (340 last night)
Volusia: 427 (420 last night)
Brevard: 245 (235 last night)
Osceola: 454 (449 last night)
Polk: 387 (379 last night)
Sumter: 167 (166 last night)
Flagler: 105 (106 last night)
Tuesday Morning to reopen select stores for limited hours
9:30 a.m. update
Tuesday Morning said it will be reopening select stores starting Friday. The stores will be open for limited hours.
The company said it will offer food, pet supplies and beauty/body care products.
It is also offering a 20% discount toward the purchase of essential items.
To learn more, click here.
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites operated by AdventHealth closed Friday due to inclement weather
9 a.m. update
Due to inclement weather, drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites operated by AdventHealth in will be closed.
Anyone who had an appointment for Friday will receive an email inviting them to register for a different date, officials said.
The locations at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee and at Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The sites at Daytona International Speedway, Mall at Millenia in Orlando and Seminole Towne Center in Sanford will reopen Monday.
Officials encourage those who meet the criteria and wish to be tested to schedule an appointment here.
Family Health Source to begin COVID-19 antibody testing in Volusia County
Next week, Family Health Source will begin antibody testing for COVID-19 at the Volusia County Fairgrounds, officials said.
Five hundred tests will be made available to the public and a blood draw will be required for the test.
The start date and times the test will begin is still being determined.
Click here to learn more.
Orange County COVID-19 mobile testing site postponed due to inclement weather
6:52 a.m. update
Due to inclement weather, Orange County’s COVID-19 mobile testing site at West Orange Park will be postponed to Monday.
Officials said all scheduled appointments for Friday will be honored on Monday.
Orlando commissioner to hand out face masks, food
6:30 a.m. update
Orlando commissioner Regina Hill will be handing out face masks and food at locations throughout Parramore and West Orlando from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Jackson Court -10 a.m.
- Griffin Park housing - 11 a.m.
- Villas at Carver Park - 12 p.m.
- Timberleaf - 1 p.m.
- Ivy Lane housing - 2 p.m.
- Mercy Drive corridor - 4 p.m.
- Anticoch Manor - 4 p.m.
- Windsor Cove - 4:45 p.m.
Some Central Florida COVID-19 testing sites closed due to inclement weather
4:30 a.m. update
Due to inclement weather, some Central Florida COVID-19 mobile testing sites will be closed Friday.
The following sites are closed:
- AdventHealth said it is delaying its opening at its Lake-Sumter testing location
- The Family Health source site in Deltona
- The Lincoln Heights popup community testing site in Seminole County has been rescheduled to April 30
Orange County mobile testing site moves to West Orange Park
4:10 a.m. update
On Thursday, the mobile testing site will move to West Orange Park.
No symptom criteria is required for testing at the mobile testing sites, but appointments are mandatory and individuals must be 18 years and older.
Residents can secure an appointment for testing by calling the DOH-Orange’s COVID-19 Call Center at 407-723-5004. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
Cox Media Group