Latest On Coronavirus: Florida Cases Top 1,000, Hillsborough School Site Down, And More
WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:
Total positive cases of coronavirus as of 11 a.m. Monday, March 23, according to the Florida Department of Health.
1,096 – Florida Residents |6 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 75 – Non-Florida Residents | 14 Deaths
Florida now has 1,171 people who have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a Monday morning update from the Florida Department of Health.
This includes 1,096 Florida residents who have tested positive.
14 Floridians have died from coronavirus.
— Carl Lisciandrello
Hillsborough School Site Down
If you’re having trouble logging into your child’s Edsby account, you’re not alone.
As Hillsborough County schools make the switch to remote instruction, teachers and parents are having trouble logging into the county’s online learning platform.
When parents tried to log in to their child’s Edsby accounts Monday, they were met with an error message.
Grading for area students resume in full Monday, March 30, after a week-long troubleshooting period.
— Delaney Brown
Gov. DeSantis Details New Coronavirus Testing Initiatives
The Villages retirement community in Central Florida is the latest drive-thru site for coronavirus testing in the state.
Governor Ron DeSantis said Monday morning that people from all over — not just residents of The Villages — can drive in with their cars and their golf carts.
“So you’ll have 25 volunteer UF health medical professionals, Villages health personnel, and over 100 volunteer UF medical physician and assistant nursing students will work together to operate the testing site,” DeSantis said during a Monday news conference at The Villages. [Read more]
— Jessica Meszaros
Florida Parks Closed
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is closing all state parks to the public effective Monday.
In the announcement, which came Sunday night, department officials said they tried to keep the parks open with limited operating hours and reduced visitor capacity at the most popular parks. [Read more]
— Mark Schreiner
Pinellas County To Release Inmates
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has significantly reduced its jail population.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a press conference on Saturday that his agency released about 200 people.
Pinellas deputies are workinThe Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has significantly reduced its jail population after detainees were forced to sleep on the floor because the Florida Department of Corrections stopped accepting inmates from county jails.
At a press conference Saturday about the closure of Pinellas beaches due to coronavirus, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said his agency released about 200 people, and that Pinellas deputies are working to keep the jail population low, including making fewer arrests.
“The officers and the deputies are making good decisions as we ask them to do about using alternatives such as notices to appear and using discretion to make an arrest so that the normal amount of arrests that we see in the jail it’s probably about a quarter to a third of what it ordinarily is,” said Gualtieri.
Gualtieri said he’s been in contact with the State Attorney and others to process the releases. [Read more]
— Jessica Meszaros
BayCare Consolidates Testing Locations
BayCare Health System is consolidating its drive-through COVID-19 testing sites to one high-volume location per county effective Monday.
According to a release, officials say they are reducing the number of locations in West Central Florida from seven to four.
The hours also are shifting to 9 a.m. to noon, officials said. [Read more]
— Carl Lisciandrello
Castor Expected To Urge Stay-At-Home Order
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is expected to ask Hillsborough County leaders to consider a county-wide “stay at home” order today.
Castor is expected to make the recommendation during a 1:30 p.m. meeting of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, a consortium of the cities and the county making decisions related to coronavirus.
That board meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. [Read more]
— Mary Shedden
First USF Student Tests Positive
The first University of South Florida student to be found with COVID-19 was diagnosed over the weekend. The student attends USF St. Petersburg, according to University President Steve Currall.
Currall said in a statement the student is being monitored by the Florida Department of Health’s Pinellas County division and is in self-isolation. The student has not been on the campus since late February. [Read more]
— Steve Newborn