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More Than 1,500 Hospitalized; Another Orlando TSA agent tests positive; Brevard testing sites open: Your coronavirus update for 4/5

Florida coronavirus dashboard (April 5, 2020). Photo: Florida Department of Health
Florida coronavirus dashboard (April 5, 2020). Photo: Florida Department of Health

Florida case data is updated at approximately 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily.

Updated: 6:30 p.m.

More than 1,500 hospitalized in Florida with COVID-19

Matthew Peddie, WMFE

1,555 people have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 according to the latest numbers reported by the Florida Department of Health on Sunday evening.

12,350 people have tested positive for coronavirus and 221 people have died.

Orange County has the most cases in Central Florida with 713 cases, followed by Osceola County with 229 cases.

Florida cases reach more than 12,000, death toll passes 200

While there was a slight down tick in new cases reported Saturday, Florida's cases continue to climb reaching 12,151 on Sunday. Total deaths rose to 218 and 1,490 patients have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus.

Orange county continues to lead Central Florida with the most positive cases at 689. The ages of those tested positive range from a child under one year to a 101-year-old person. The county has reported 8 deaths and 88 hospitalizations.

Miami-Dade county has the most cases in Florida at 4,061. There have been 245 hospitalizations and 31 deaths related to COVID-19.

Updated 2:25 p.m.

10th Orlando International Airport TSA agent tests positive for COVID-19

By Brendan Byrne, WMFE

A tenth TSA officer at Orlando International Airport has received an initial positive test for COVID-19.

The officer has not worked at the MCO checkpoint since March 23 and will remain out of operation until they are cleared by a doctor.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said it continues to perform increased cleanings of checkpoints, work areas, break rooms and employee shuttle buses.

In the past month, more than 50 TSA screeners at airports across the country have tested positive for coronavirus.

TSA workers continue to work without N-95 masks, as the job is not considered “high risk” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

WMFE's Danielle Prieur contributed to this report. 

Brevard county offers drive-through testing

By Brendan Byrne, WMFE

Brevard county is offering drive-through testing within the county starting Monday through two providers. Both will require residents to make an appointment before showing up.

Florida Department of Health is offering testing at location in north, central and south Brevard. Residents must have COVID-19 symptoms -- which includes a fever of 100.4 or higher, cough and shortness of breath. To get the test they must also meet one of the following:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Have an underlying health condition
  • Are a first responder
  • Have a prescription from a medical doctor.

To schedule an appointment at a FDOH testing site, call 321-454-7141

Omni Healthcare is also offering testing at its Melbourne location. Residents seeking a test must meet on of the following criteria:

  • First responder
  • Over 45 years old with one chronic illness
  • Over 60 years old
  • Healthcare worker
  • Publix or Winn Dixie employee
  • Have a low grade fever or cough

To schedule an appointment with Omni Healthcare, call 321-802-5515 or 321-727-1973 or visit www.covid19testbrevard.com. Insurance will be billed for testing.

Another cruise ship with virus victims docks in Florida

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims on board, including two fatalities, has docked in Florida.

Princess Cruises spokeswoman Negin Kamali said in an email Saturday the Coral Princess ship docked in Miami. The ship with 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members had been in limbo for days.

As of Thursday, Kamali said seven passengers and five crew members had tested positive for the coronavirus. The cruise line says anyone in need of hospitalization will disembark first.

Those fit to fly will begin leaving Sunday, while others who have symptoms of respiratory illness will remain on board until cleared by ship doctors.

Two Florida officers die from coronavirus

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Officials say two Florida law enforcement officers have died from coronavirus.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release saying 38-year-old Sgt. Jose Diaz Ayala died Saturday. He had underlying health conditions. Ayala had been with the department 14 years.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said 39-year-old Deputy Shannon Bennett died Friday night from the disease. Tony said at a news conference Saturday that Bennett was a 12-year veteran of the agency.

Churches get creative to stay connected with parishioners during holiest week of Easter

Kerry Sherridan, WUSF

Large gatherings are canceled nationwide due to coronavirus, just as churches head into Easter week, the holiest time of the year for Christians as they mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Kerry Sheridan reports, some churches are getting creative.

Except for the empty pews, it looks and sounds just like Palm Sunday, with a full choir at the Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota.

But this service was broadcast online, and was actually pre-recorded more than two weeks ago, before Florida’s governor issued a statewide stay at home order. Easter’s service was staged in advance the same way, and will air Sunday morning.

Father Charleston Wilson says he made the decision after watching news of coronavirus cases rising fast in New York. “We looked at it and said it's coming to a town near you and if we want to have Easter that even feels like our normal Easter we need to pre-record it.”

Many churches in the area are bringing their services online and trying to make Easter week special. Tampa’s Hyde Park Methodist Church debuted its interactive live streaming platform yesterday.

It included an outdoor video appearance from parishioner Dave Timmons, who delivered the call to worship on a sunny day with a leafy trees in the background. “We joyfully celebrate today as Christians have celebrated through the ages, yet we confess that it can be hard to find joy in these difficult days.”

Some churches have confessions available by drive through at certain times. Others are going old school – simply calling on the phone to check on parishioners one by one.

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