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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

Key Facts

  • Sarasota prohibits gatherings of 10 people or more
  • 46 deaths reported in Florida, with 3,198 confirmed cases
  • Pinellas County has voted in favor of a 'safer-at-home' order
  • Hillsborough County passes 'safer-at-home' order
  • Holland America ship heads to Florida. Four passengers have died.


7:16 p.m.(March 27)

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 3,198 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. There are also now 46 coronavirus-related deaths being reported. 

3:50 p.m. (March 27)
After closing due to a lack of kits, the COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium will reopen.

Hillsborough County Emergency Management says it has secured 1,000 more testing collection kits from the state, but local health leaders are still working to get the personal protective equipment needed to keep the medical teams safe.

A date to re-open the testing site has not yet been announced.

2:50 p.m. (March 27)

Governor DeSantis has directed the Department of Children and Families to submit a federal waiver to temporarily increase SNAP benefits for all families to the maximum amount allowed.

Families of four who were receiving $449 per month will now receive $509.

The governor is also suspending all new vacation rentals for two weeks in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The state recently ordered people flying from New York to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Florida. Now, he says, he's expanding that directive to include people coming from New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.The governor has also authorized some roadway checkpoints for drivers entering Florida.

2:32 p.m. (March 27)

Legoland Florida will remain closed through April 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The extension applies to both their theme park and water park. 

Guests who are looking for additional information can reach out to fore more. 

1:57 p.m. (March 27)

Holland America says four passengers are dead and almost 150 more people have flu-like symptoms aboard a Florida-bound ship where 2 people tested positive for COVID-19. Click here for the latest information.

1:30 p.m. (March 27)

The Florida Department of Health says there have now been a total of 35 coronavirus-related deaths in the state. Florida health leaders say the total number of COVID-19 cases is now 2,900.

11:50 a.m. (March 27)

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced the next phase of funding for the Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant.

In a news release, they said the money will help Floridians get through the COVID-19 crisis by allowing districts, colleges and private entities to start or expand apprenticeship programs in the state.

In total, nearly $2.8 million was awarded.

Hillsborough County Schools, Pasco County Schools and St. Petersburg College were among the recipients.

11:28 a.m. (March 27)

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County wants the public to know that you do not need a COVID-19 test to "do what is needed" to help stop the spread and take care of yourself. 

The health department said that it is aware many people would like to be tested, but it is unable to do so due to the shortage of supplies. 

A COVID-19 test shows if a person is positive or negative. If the virus is not detected at the time of the test, it does not mean you cannot get the novel coronavirus and end up spreading it to others, according to the health department. 

That's why health leaders are urging people who do not need to be tested to do what is needed: stay home.

Other suggested actions: 

  • Don't go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxi
  • Be sure to separate or keep a six-foot distance between other people or animals inside your home.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms stay in a specific "sick room" if possible, and away from other people in your home.
  • Clean high touch surfaces often.

The health department noted once supplies become available, more people will be tested in Hillsborough.

RELATED: You don't need a COVID-19 test to help stop the spread of this coronavirus

11:25 a.m. (March 27)

Polk State College is continuing to keep all classes online through their Summer 2020 semester to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The college's president Angela Garcia Falconetti released the following statement:

“Polk State College is committed to ensuring our students have the opportunity and the resources they need to continue toward their educational goals during these challenging times. Faculty and staff are working diligently to make the transition to the online learning environment as smooth as possible for students so that they may be successful in their academic endeavors while remaining safe and healthy.”

11:15 a.m. (March 27)

Sickles High School announced Friday morning that it received some additional laptops.  Pick up is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the car loop by 900.

6:40  a.m. (March 27)

In light of the coronavirus crisis, the Brandon and SouthShore Clerk’s offices will close to the public effective Monday, March 30, until further notice.

8:36 p.m. (March 26)

The Florida Department of Health is reporting a death in Highlands County from COVID-19.

8:33 p.m. (March 26)

The Office of Governor DeSantis released the following statement:

Today, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-85, directing the Department of Management Services (DMS) to ensure all state employees have access to telehealth services through the state’s contracted HMO plans and PPO organization plan without cost sharing, while also ensuring that all cost sharing that would have been applicable to state employees seeking immunization services under this Executive Order for the influenza vaccination be waived. 

6:21 p.m. (March 26) 

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 2,484 positive cased of COVID-19 in the state with 29 deaths.

RELATED: Stay-at-home vs shelter-in-place: Here's what they mean 

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