Coronavirus

While the state was urging social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, spring break crowds descended on parts of South Florida over the weekend.

Local businesses are starting to feel the impact of coronavirus.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to continue social distancing, some local businesses are seeing a traffic slow down as a result.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

In addition to such things as travel bans, sports being shut down, and school closures, coronavirus has led Governor DeSantis to place a 30-day ban on all visitations for nursing homes throughout Florida.

But there are some things people can do to remain in touch with loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

While much of the country has come to a standstill because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, democracy, it seems, goes on.

Four states are set to hold their presidential primaries on Tuesday, and many more states and territories are currently scheduled to vote before the end of April.

Here are answers to three questions you may have about voting in the time of a pandemic.

1. Are elections still happening?

Updated at 9:11 p.m. ET

With the number of cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus surpassing 150,000, with some 6,000 deaths, governments across the globe continue their struggle to contain the pandemic. Their hope is to limit the number of new infections, while treating those individuals suffering from COVID-19 and isolating others whose symptoms are not as severe but who might spread the disease.

Here's a snapshot by region of what is happening as of midday Monday:

Europe

Updated at 1:55 a.m. ET Monday

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising against gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 will be set up this week in Broward County, which has been hit particularly hard by coronavirus. He said during a press conference Sunday night in Tallahassee it will be manned by Florida National Guard troops.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

The way the world says hello is changing. Quickly.

In lieu of the germ-rich exchange of the handshake, alternative salutations are taking hold.

In Tanzania, President John Magufuli introduced a low-touch greeting when he met with the opposition leader from Zanzibar Seif Sharif Hamad, reports Eyder Peralta, NPR's correspondent in east Africa. It takes the form of a catchy, two-part salute, using both hands and feet.

The Florida Department of Health announced 39 new cases of coronavirus early Sunday morning, including four in the Tampa Bay area. That puts the state over 100 people infected since the first confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on March 1.

It’s also the largest number announced at one time since the outbreak began.

With jittery shoppers flocking to supermarkets to stock up on supplies for the coronavirus outbreak, some of the country's largest grocery chains are announcing measures to enhance sanitation and maintain supplies.

Across the U.S., hand sanitizer, toilet paper, sanitation wipes and canned goods have been flying off shelves as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to climb.

A fourth Floridian has died as a result of coronavirus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded an emergency order prohibiting all visitation to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities for the next 30 days.

While Hillsborough and Pinellas County joined the rest of the state in closing public schools through March 27, the Tampa Bay area’s two most populous counties took other different measures Friday in response to the coronavirus.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

Publix is shortening its store hours to give employees time to restock shelves and clean its locations due to coronavirus demand.

The state Department of Health early Saturday reported 25 more cases of the coronavirus, with most of the patients in South Florida. Manatee County reported two new cases, while a third Floridian has died from the disease.

The coronavirus outbreak has led the Florida Department of Education to close all public schools across the state through March 27.

The coronavirus outbreak comes during one of the busiest tourist seasons in the Tampa Bay region. 

Is coronavirus stopping you from visiting a loved one? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has expanded an order preventing people from visiting nursing homes to stop the spread of coronavirus to vulnerable residents.  What kind of impact is that having on you?

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The Coronavirus, The Congressman And Me

Mar 13, 2020
Red and gray 3D model of COVID-19. Looks like a sphere with red trees on it.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

I got the COVID-19 text at 8:30 Tuesday night, three days after returning from a journalism conference in New Orleans.

On Thursday, Local U.S. Representatives Al Lawson and John Rutherford, along with the entire Florida Congressional Delegation, sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump asking him to prioritize Florida and send the state emergency resources as it fights to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. Representatives John Rutherford (R-FL 4th District), Derek Kilmer (D-Washington), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Washington) have introduced legislation that would provide disaster unemployment assistance to people who can’t work due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Baptist Health is upping restrictions on visitors to its Northeast Florida hospitals and lowering the cost of telemedicine visits as more coronavirus cases are confirmed in Florida.

After a meeting in Miami with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Monday, Senator Rick Scott has decided to self-quarantine.

He was alerted by the Brazilian Embassy Thursday that Bolsonaro's communications director had tested positive for coronavirus.

Hillsborough County commissioners declared a local state of emergency for coronavirus, postponed area events -- but not WrestleMania -- and raised concerns about the lack of widespread testing during an emergency policy meeting Thursday.


Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort will be closed the rest of the month starting March 15. The theme parks join a growing list of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The list of new positive cases of coronavirus in Florida grew by 16 late Thursday, bringing the total in state to 42, according to Florida Department of Health.

Nine of the new cases have been connected to travel, including two men who were part of a Nile River cruise and tour in Egypt. One is a case stemming from Port Everglades, and the root of infection for the remaining seven is unclear, the department said in a statement.

Excitement over Florida's presidential primary is waning, thanks to earlier voting contests in other states and the growing concerns over coronavirus.

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