Lead Stories

Over 900 More Floridians Test Positive For COVID-19, Largest One-Day Jump Yet

With more than 900 new positive test results added since Saturday evening, Florida is rapidly approaching 5,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. According to figures released by the Florida Department of Health just after 6 p.m. Sunday, 4,950 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus. That’s up by 912 from the same time Saturday, and almost 1,800 since Friday evening.

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Coronavirus 2020

The pastor of a Tampa church who hosted two large Sunday services, even busing people in, has been arrested after the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for his arrest.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of The River Church violated Hillsborough County's safer-at-home order, which went into effect March 27, said Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister.

Gun sales across the country are surging and in Florida, there have been several record-setting days in the past few weeks. Tallahassee-based Red Hills Arms is struggling to keep up with demand and its owners say as is the case with other gun stores, it's seeing a boom in first-time buyers.

South Florida is a coronavirus hotspot in the state. The majority of confirmed cases in Florida are in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on the state attorney general Friday to investigate a South Florida hospital charging $150 per test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus spreading rapidly across the state.

The Florida Keys checkpoints at the county lines on U.S. 1 and Card Sound Road will remain up, Monroe County officials said Sunday.

Both the government-run drive-thru testing sites for COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County have specific restrictions as to who can get tested. Those include the site at Hard Rock Stadium and at Marlins Park. Besides first responders and healthcare workers, someone would need to be 65 or older to access testing at both sites.

Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Friday that anyone arriving in the state from Louisiana must self-quarantine like those arriving from New York already must because of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis said he is expanding his quarantine order to include Louisiana after officials in the lightly hit Panhandle worried that people will flee New Orleans as the number of positive tests there climb.

The Florida Highway Patrol and sheriff's offices will set up checkpoints to screen cars arriving from Louisiana, DeSantis said.

Sarasota County has opened a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site but like others locations across the region, resources are very limited.

The latest numbers show the state has tested about nine times more people for coronavirus than it did just a week ago. At the same time, the number of positive cases has surged. 

It makes sense that if you test more, you’ll find more coronavirus.  But that’s only a partial explanation for the swift rise in Covid-19 cases.

USF Public Health Professor Jay Wolfson says the lack of testing up until now means that people who didn’t know they were infected could have given the virus – in a worst case -- to a thousand people in a week.

Hillsborough County is among the areas in Florida being hardest hit with coronavirus that will receive a shipment of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that is being touted by some as a possible treatment for the symptoms of coronavirus.

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