ORLANDO, Fla. — Watch our in-depth coverage below:
Read live updates below:
Was Florida reopened too soon? Too early to tell, experts say
10:45 p.m. update
Health experts say it’s still too early to answer if Florida reopened too early, but the data will soon be able to tell.
Watch the full story below:
Plaza restaurants along Florida Turnpike reopen with new safety guidelines
8:45 p.m. update
Florida Department of Transportation’s Turnpike Enterprise has resumed food services at all eight of its plazas, but with new safety precautions.
The plazas will be cleaned thoroughly using a disinfectant spray formulated specifically to eliminate the virus, and additional hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the plaza and restrooms, according to FDOT.
Indoor dining will be restricted to no more than 25% capacity. Seating will be configured to ensure social distancing, and tape on the floor will help mark six feet.
Plaza staff will also be required to wear gloves and masks.
Condiments will be provided at the counter instead of at a self-serve station. High touch points will be disinfected regularly.
Managers will also ensure employees are symptom-free before showing up to work.
In accordance with the recovery plan, plazas in Snapper Creek, Pompano and West Palm Beach plazas will remain takeout only.
Barbershops, salons reopen
5:15 p.m. update
Florida’s hair and nail salons are reopening in most of the state along with barber shops.
Such shops were allowed to reopen Monday except in hard-hit Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
That comes six weeks after the state ordered them closed.
The state has ordered that their workers wear masks when seeing customers. They must also require appointments so that few people will be waiting inside and that they spend 15 minutes between each customer sanitizing the work station.
This move comes one week after the sit-down dining was allowed at most of the state’s restaurants. Almost 41,000 Floridians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 1,735 have died.
Orange County’s resort tax takes huge hit
4:45 p.m. update
Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond said Monday that the county's tourist development tax decreased to $13.6 million in March.
That is down almost 57% from March 2019.
It was the largest monthly percentage decrease since the county first start collecting the resort tax in 1979.
Diamond said April’s numbers could be worse.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the county does have reserve funds available.
He said the county has secured funding from the federal government to provide personal protective equipment to 20,000 of the county’s 90,000 small businesses.
Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer held a news conference Monday afternoon. Watch it below:
Online COVID-19 tracker shows promise for Orange County
3:40 p.m. update
The Florida Chamber Foundation online COVID-19 tracker shows Orange County is moving in the right direction when it comes to meeting important White House guidelines for reopening.
The tracker shows daily analysis of the number of positive coronavirus cases and other economic factors in every Florida county
In Orange County, the average daily new cases are 13.1 and decreasing. The county’s percent of positive cases is also decreasing and now stands at 5 percent.
Click here to read more.
Orange County COVID-19 update
3:20 p.m. update
Orange County officials are set to give a live update on the COVID-19 pandemic at 4 p.m.
Click here to watch it live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News once it begins.
Skywitness 9 flies over Walt Disney World
2:30 p.m. update
Skywitness 9 is flying over Walt Disney World, much of which remains closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 and the census
2:05 p.m. update
It’s not meant to be a trick question, but many displaced by the pandemic aren’t sure how to fill out the 2020 U.S. census.
Typically, it’s easy to say how many people are staying at your home on April 1. But many people living where coronavirus outbreaks hit hardest fled their homes or were hospitalized.
Students living off-campus moved back in with their parents once universities closed.
Travelers got stuck far from home because of health concerns.
The displacement is especially worrisome in the virus hot spot of New York City, where some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods have the lowest census response rates.
Gov. DeSantis gives COVID-19 update
1:25 p.m. update
A week into Florida’s reopening, Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving a live update on the status of COVID-19.
Click here to watch his live news conference.
14 coronavirus-related deaths, including 2 in Central Florida, 386 new cases reported since Sunday
11:15 a.m. update
Florida health officials reported that 14 people have died from COVID-19, including two people in Central Florida, since Sunday. Numbers show that 386 new cases of the virus have also been reported in the state during the same time frame.
Officials reported that the percentage of positive tests in in the state went down to 7.3% from 7.52% the day prior.
Data shows there have been 40,982 cases of the virus in the state and 1,735 deaths.
The latest deaths in Central Florida included one person in Volusia County and one in Osceola County.
See the latest case numbers by county below:
Orange: 1,512 (1,505 Sunday)
Volusia: 551 (548 Sunday)
Brevard: 330 (328 Sunday)
Osceola: 573 (572 Sunday)
Lake: 243 (242 Sunday)
Marion: 211 (208 Sunday)
Polk: 655 (636 Sunday)
COVID-19 testing coming to Lake Panasoffkee
10:50 a.m. update
Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available in Lake Panasoffkee on Wednesday for Sumter County residents.
The testing will be available for those with or without symptoms at First Baptist Church on County Road 470.
Registration is required. Click here to sign up.
Over 1,000 small businesses in Orange County to receive PPE
9:28 a.m. update
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said during a briefing that over 1,000 small businesses will receive free personal protective equipment Monday and that over 2,000 small businesses registered.
The mayor said he hopes to serve up to 20,000 small businesses with their efforts.
Mayor Demings said that the free PPE given away throughout the week is only for small business owners in Orange County.
Two-hundred masks and 40 bottles of hand sanitizer were distributed Monday to each small business owner.
Mayor Demings provides coronavirus update
9:03 a.m. update
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is holding a press conference on the county’s response to COVID-19 and providing small business owners with personal protective equipment.
Gov. DeSantis to hold COVID-19 update
8:35 a.m. update
Gov. Ron DeSantis is slated to hold a 1 p.m. press conference to provide updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Florida.
The governor will hold the briefing from Fort Myers.
SunRail to resume service
8:18 a.m. update
SunRail will resume its regular service today while using measures to keep riders and workers safe.
The company has taken extra steps to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, including increasing frequency of cleaning onboard and at station platforms, according to a release.
For more information, click here.
Free COVID-19 testing in Brevard County
6:35 a.m. update
The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County will provide free COVID-19 testing for those who believe they might have contracted the virus.
Residents are not required to be symptomatic, but appointments are necessary and can be scheduled by calling 321-454-7141.
4:22 a.m. update
Orange County is offering small businesses free personal protective equipment.
One million face masks and 200,000 travel-size hand sanitizer bottles will be put into kits and distributed to up to 20,000 small businesses.
Distribution will begin from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will remain open during the same operating hours until May 15 or until supplies run out.
Business owners can pick up the equipment from six drive-thru pick-up sites throughout the county after registering.
For more information, click here.
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