ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida health officials said Sunday that 13 people have died from the coronavirus and that there are 1,007 confirmed cases statewide. See our in-depth coverage below:
Read live updates below:
10:30 p.m. update
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has announced that all state parks will be closed beginning Monday.
“DEP has taken many measures to continue providing resource recreation at our state parks during this time, such as limiting operating hours and reducing visitor capacity at parks with high visitation. Unfortunately, this has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” a news release states.
Fun Spot America will close all locations until further notice beginning Monday, the company announced Sunday evening
Fun Spot follows Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Legoland and SeaWorld as Central Florida attractions that have temporarily closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
10 p.m. update
Marion County has confirmed its fourth positive case of COVID-19.
The person is a 40-year-old female with a travel history, and is a Marion County resident.
The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is conducting an investigation and working to identify and notify individuals who will need to self-quarantine for a 14-day period.
8:15 p.m. update
The Florida Lottery announced Sunday that its headquarters and district offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday.
In addition to the beaches, Flagler County announced that parks, community centers, pavilions, camping areas, and associated facilities, like parking lots and restrooms will also be closed. The Flagler County Government Services Building will be closed to the general public with few exceptions, and then by appointment only.
6:45 p.m. update
All 11 boat ramps in Orange County will be closed as of 8 p.m. Sunday, according to Orange County Parks and Recreation.
6:15 p.m. update
There are now 1,007 positive COVID-19 cases in the state as of Sunday evening, the Florida Department of Health said.
5:45 p.m. update
An Orlando police officer has tested positive for COVID-19, the department announced Sunday.
The officer was already in self-quarantine when they tested positive, the department said in a news release. The officer did not travel to any restricted areas, and had experienced flu-like symptoms earlier in the month and initiated self-quarantine, the news release said.
The officer no longer has symptoms but remains in 14-day self-quarantine, according to the police department.
“First responders risk their lives every day, no matter what is going on in the world. Our officers continue to patrol our city to keep everyone safe, as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic and practice proactive measures to limit exposure,” Police Chief Orlando Rolón. “This invisible threat will not change our commitment to serve and protect as we continue to work during this challenging time to keep our city safe.”
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said four firefighters who came into contact with coronavirus patients are in self-quarantine, but are showing no symptoms.
5:30 p.m. update
Orange County is up to 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Mayor Jerry Demings said.
Demings said he hopes various testing sites will be up soon. The Alafaya Trail site is expected to be up Monday, and a second site at the Orange County Convention Center will open on Wednesday.
Beginning Monday, the lobby of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and sector substations will be closed to the public.
5:10 p.m. update
Flagler County announced Sunday it will close its beaches effective 6 a.m. Monday to coincide with the actions taken by the City of Flagler Beach.
Flagler Beach city beaches, boardwalks and piers will be also closed effective at 6 a.m. Monday.
“Both of our entities kept the beaches open as long as it was reasonably safe to do so,” Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said in a news release. “For the safety of our residents and visitors, we need to close all of our beaches to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.”
3:15 p.m. update
Two U.S. House members, Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, of Florida, and Ben McAdams, of Utah, have also tested positive for the coronavirus.
2 p.m. update
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has become the first U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19.
"He is feeling fine and is in quarantine," a tweeted statement said. "He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person."
Paul expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends, his Twitter account said.
"Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul," the statement said.
Elsewhere in the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in quarantine after a doctor who gave her a vaccine tested positive for the coronavirus.
Earlier Sunday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Floridians to stay home and to not panic as the state tests more people for the novel coronaviru.
He stressed that the results should not cause undue concern.
"The vast, vast majority of people are testing negative for this," DeSantis said.
He held a news conference Sunday at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, where the National Guard opened a drive-thru testing site.
On Sunday, they were only testing first responders. On Monday, they plan to expand it to people at least 65 years old who are showing symptoms of the illnesses.
State figures said more than 9,700 people have been tested for the virus, which is more than most states but less than New York.
The virus causes only minor flu-like symptoms in most people, who recover in a matter of weeks. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness or death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health problems.
Severe cases are often only able to breathe with respirators.
DeSantis has called for a ban on elective surgery, in part so hospital staff have enough personal protective equipment available for coronavirus patients.
He did not call for a “shelter in place” order, unlike governors in California, New York and Illinois, who have ordered such restrictive measures.
12:45 p.m. update
A fourth Transportation Security Administration officer who works at Orlando International Airport has tested positive for COVID-19, the agency said Sunday.
“Security screening checkpoints remain open, and the agency is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Orange County Department of Health to monitor the situation as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public,” the agency said.
The following information outlines when the screening agents’ last day at work was, where in the airport they worked at and what shift they worked:
• March 16; East Checkpoint; 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• March 15; West Checkpoint; 2:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
• March 11; West Checkpoint; noon to 8:30 p.m
• March 10; West Checkpoint; 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Click here to read about other cases of TSA workers testing positive for the virus.
Earlier Sunday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, where the state's second federally funded drive-thru testing site will open Monday.
The state's first federally funded drive-thru testing site opened Friday at Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field.
Another drive-thru testing site is already up and running in Broward County.
DeSantis said a site will open Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center.
Watch DeSantis’ latest news conference below:
12 p.m. update
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving a live update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
11:15 a.m. update
The Florida Department of Health said Sunday morning that another person has died from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 13 in Florida.
The person who died tested positive for COVID-19 in Palm Beach County.
The agency also said there are now 830 confirmed cases of the virus in the state -- 768 Florida residents and 62 non-Florida residents.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will give a live update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at noon. Bookmark this page, download the WFTV news app or watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News at Noon to watch it live once it begins.
9:50 a.m. update
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, have tested negative for the coronavirus.
The vice president’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tweeted the results of the tests Saturday night.
Pence had announced earlier Saturday that, out of an abundance of caution, he and his wife would be tested for the virus.
A member of the vice president’s staff had tested positive for the virus.
Also, the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global pandemic was first detected, went a fourth consecutive day Sunday without reporting any new or suspected cases of the virus.
8:50 a.m. update
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will give a live update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at noon. Bookmark this page, download the WFTV news app or watch Channel 9 to watch it live once it begins.
8 a.m. update
Did you know more than 25,000 germs could be living on your phone? Click here for instruction on how to properly clean it and sanitize it.
7:30 a.m. update
With more people spending time confined inside, it’s important to ensure the air you’re breathing in at home is clean.
Click here to learn how to keep your air quality good indoors.
5:45 a.m. update
Overnight, countywide curfews in Orange and Osceola counties ended at 5 a.m. Sunday. The curfews will go back into effect at 11 p.m. Monday.
So far, the state has had 763 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths.
Later today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to give more details about a drive-thru testing site in The Villages.
The mayor of Miami-Dade County has ordered all hotels to stop accepting reservations and warned boaters not to tie their crafts together in the water.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Saturday that the hotels would still be allowed to accommodate medical personnel, journalists, and first responders, as well as visitors unable to return home because of travel restrictions.
He also prohibited boats from tying up to one another to party at sea and in Biscayne Bay, a practice known as "rafting."
Gimenez said people could go out on the water with their boats if they practiced social distancing.
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