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As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic grips the globe, it can be difficult to find reliably factual information about what's going on here in Florida.
This blog is a resource to address that crucial need. 10News reporters and producers will use it to share the latest headlines, while actively focusing on facts not fear.
Stories that require more in-depth coverage will be posted on WTSP.com/coronavirus.
- The Florida Department of Health is reporting 14,747 positive cases in the state with 296 deaths
- Three Hillsborough County deputies are in quarantine after they were exposed to a person with COVID-19
- A St. Petersburg police officer tested positive for COVID-19
7:44 p.m. (April 7)
Metropolitan Ministries said it has temporarily suspended its COVID-19 coronavirus financial assistance because of "staggering demand," it said in a news release.
The agency said it needs to "catch up" and plans to resume on April 15.
There have been a total of 1,703 requests, with 75 percent of them for rental assistance and 25 percent for utility assistance -- 450 have not been acted upon because of demand, Metropolitan Ministries said.
"It will take $1.5 million to fulfill these requests for one month," the release states.
Normal work, including serving 3,000 meals a day, shelter and care for 140 families and more than 300 children, will continue.
7:43 p.m. (April 7)
Two people have died from COVID-19 coronavirus in Hillsborough County, bringing its total to seven people, according to the Florida Department of Health.
5:56 p.m. (April 7)
The Florida Department of Health reports an additional 13 people have died from COVID-19 coronavirus since the morning update, with a total of 296 deaths statewide.
There also has been an increase of 243 positive cases, bringing the state's total to 14,747 cases.
5:51 p.m. (April 7)
A staff member at the Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.
It is the first case of the virus at the center and the second case among staff at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice facilities statewide, according to a news release.
In late March, the agency said an employee/contract staff tested positive at the Broward Youth Treatment Center.
There are no confirmed coronavirus cases among the youth population.
4:45 p.m. (April 7)
As of 4 p.m., Sarasota Medical Hospital has tested more than 840 people since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
There have been 711 negative results, 69 positive results and 57 results are pending.
SMH is currently caring for 32 hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The hospital has safely discharged 41 positive patients. Unfortunately, despite our staff’s extraordinary efforts, 2 more positive patients have passed away, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 positive patients who have died at SMH to 7.
1:00 p.m. (April 7)
Citrus County Superintendent is canceling all end of term (EOT) finals. This is in addition to Gov. DeSantis' order to cancel all state testing this Spring. The cancellations apply to middle and high school students.
"In order for our first priority to be on the health and safety of our students, staff, and families, we must be open to flexible and creative ways to keep learning and growing the best we can during this time," Superintendent Sam Himmel stated.
The school district says it's important for students and families to understand that final grades will be an accumulation of grades attained before schools closed, as well as assignments students are able to complete while remote learning.
If parents have questions, please call the administrative team at your child's school.
11:39 a.m. (April 7)
A 46-year-old woman is the first person in Hernando County to die from COVID-19, according to the Florida Department of Health.
10:58 a.m. (April 7)
The number of positive cases in Florida went up by 829 Tuesday morning, bringing the total to 14,504.
The number of deaths went up 29 and is now 283.
7:45 a.m. (April 7)
A sworn member of the St. Petersburg Police Department received a positive
test result for COVID-19.
To date, out of 12 employees/officers who self-quarantined at home because they might have been exposed to the sickness 10 have tested negative for COVID -19, the police department said.
This is the second person with St. Pete PD to test positive.
9:48 p.m. (April 6)
Three Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies are on a 14-day quarantine after they were exposed to someone with COVID-19 coronavirus.
It happened around 8:30 p.m. Sunday at a home in Thonotosassa, the agency said in a news release.
The deputies got to the home before paramedics and performed CPR on him, in addition to using an Automated External Defibrillator. After learning from a relative the man took heroin earlier in the evening, deputies administered a single dose of Narcan, the sheriff's office said.
6:28 p.m. (April 6)
Publix confirms a third employee in the Tampa Bay area has tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.
The worker is employed at one of the company's Dunedin stores, located at 1491 Main Street, Publix said in a statement.