What to Know
- The state's new total rose to 763, including 706 Florida residents and 57 non-Florida residents
- Miami-Dade reached 169 cases, while Broward increased to 164
- Two new deaths raised the state's death toll to 12
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida jumped to more than 750 Saturday evening.
The state's new total rose to 763, including 706 Florida residents and 57 non-Florida residents, according to new findings from the Florida Department of Health. Miami-Dade reached 169 cases, surpassing Broward which sits at 164.
The total number of cases jumped up from the 563 which were reported on Friday, adding 200 new cases Saturday evening. Two new deaths brought the state's death toll up to 12, with one of the deaths being reported in Broward.
Among the deaths were 3 residents at a Fort Lauderdale assisted living facility.
DeSantis confirmed that Atria Willow Wood had 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 4 were still pending.
The governor said the facility did not implement guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services when screening workers before they entered the building.
"You shouldn’t need someone breathing down your neck to do this," DeSantis said referring to workers in the field.
DeSantis also announced that Hard Rock Stadium would be the site for COVID-19 testing starting Monday.
Earlier Friday, DeSantis issued a number of executive orders, including directing all movie theatres, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gymnasiums, fitness studios and beaches to close in Broward County and Palm Beach County. The closures will expire on March 31, but may be renewed by a written request of the County Administrator.
Broward and Palm Beach administrators will also have the ability to enforce, relax, modify or remove the closures as they see fit. The executive order also requires all restaurants, bars, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cabarets, breweries, cafeterias and any other alcohol and/or food service business establishment with seating for more than ten people within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Broward and Palm Beach to close on-premises service of customers.
Another order lifted the restriction that prohibits restaurants from selling package sales of alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises. Alcohol sales to go with food that is pick-up or delivered will be permitted and I.D. will be required for orders including alcohol.
In another order, DeSantis prohibited all hospitals, doctor's offices, surgery centers and other medical facilities from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery.
"We're in it together, we're gonna get through it, it's not gonna be easy in the days and weeks to come but we will get through it," DeSantis said.
The first drive-thru COVID-19 testing site run by the Florida National Guard began operations Friday at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.
On Thursday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered all beaches, parks and “non-essential” commercial and retail businesses closed.
DeSantis already had ordered bars closed and restaurants to limit seating, while some municipal governments have limited eateries to take-out and delivery.
Gimenez's order allows several businesses to remain open, including health care providers, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and banks.
“I know it is very frustrating that we have new closures every day, but they are vital to protecting everyone in our County,” Gimenez said in a statement.
Also on Thursday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who had tested positive for COVID-19, urged residents to self-isolate in their homes "to the maximum extent possible."
The vast majority of people recover in about two weeks from this illness with no more than a fever and a cough, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe illness requiring care at hospitals where beds and protective gear are in short supply.
Florida's economy depends heavily on tourism. In the last several days its theme parks have closed, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, cruises have shut down and Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach have shooed away thousands of spring breakers. Several cities have closed their beaches and others are expected to follow. Some officials wondered why all Florida beaches aren't closed as some remain packed.
The Florida Keys will close to visitors starting Sunday evening. Monroe County officials announced Thursday that no new reservations would be permitted until further notice. Long-term renters who are already in the Keys will be allowed to remain until the conclusion of their contracts.
On Thursday, Monroe County reported its first presumptive positive COVID-19 case.
Miami-based Carnival Corp. said Thursday it will make cruise ships from four of its brands available to serve as temporary hospitals where needed.
The world’s largest cruise line said its ships could serve mainly to treat non-coronavirus patients, freeing up beds in land-based hospitals. The company said ships can provide up to 1,000 hospital rooms and can be quickly provisioned with necessary medical equipment, including intensive care units.