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Decision On Reopening Soon- DeSantis; Coronavirus Hospitalizations Near 5,000; Differing Outcomes In Jail, Prison Hit By Pandemic; Police Departments Reconsider Body Camera Purchases; Your Coronavirus Update For 4/26

Gov. DeSantis holds a press conference at Orlando Health.
Gov. DeSantis holds a press conference at Orlando Health.

Decision on reopening Florida to be made soon, says DeSantis

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’ll make a decision soon on when to reopen the state. DeSantis talked about strategies to reopen businesses during a press conference at Orlando Health Sunday afternoon. 

DeSantis said the final decision will be based on recommendations from the state’s reopening task force- along with President Donald Trump’s roadmap for recovery.

"We’re going to make an announcement pretty soon obviously because we’re coming up at the end of the month and we’re going to do it," said DeSantis. A statewide 'safer at home' order is in place until the end of April.  

DeSantis was joined at the press conference by doctors from Orlando Health, including Dr. Jamal Hakim.

He said employers should be prepared to put new protocols in place.

"Make sure every employee before they come into work self-screens. Not just self-screens for the most common symptoms, but for all of those rare symptoms. So, if you have any symptom at all, essentially you stay at home," Hakim said.

Hakim said the peak in new coronavirus cases in Orange County came during the first or second week in April.

Hospitalizations near 5,000

Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Florida has had 31,528 coronavirus cases, with 4,957 hospitalizations and 1,074 deaths according to the latest numbers from the state department of health.

Orange County has 1,322 cases, with 259 hospitalizations and 30 deaths.

Statewide, 2,748 cases were staff or residents of long term care facilities, including 49 cases in Volusia County, 30 in Seminole, 24 in Orange and 17 in Brevard.

The US now has 941,628 cases, with 54,024 people dying from COVID-19.

Differing outcomes in Florida jail, prison hit by outbreak

The Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Volusia County Branch Jail and the Tomoka Correctional Institution are practically neighbors, within two miles as the crow flies.

But when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, the county jail and the state prison may as well be in different universes. Tomoka Correctional is battling the worst outbreak of the coronavirus among state prisons: 82 inmates and 10 staff members or correctional officers at Tomoka have tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, the Volusia County Branch Jail has not had a single case of coronavirus among its staff, correctional officers or among its approximately 1,200 inmates.

Florida police departments reconsider body camera purchases

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Two of Florida’s largest police departments are delaying the purchase of body cameras because of financial concerns spawned by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the Tampa Police Department is putting on hold the purchase of more than 600 cameras that were supposed to have been acquired by the end of the year.

At the St. Petersburg Police Department, a body camera testing program has been delayed indefinitely. The delay means that departments police chief will have to postpone his decision to seek funding for hundreds of cameras.


Click here to read more of WMFE's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic.

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