Florida Surpasses 25,400 Coronavirus Cases As State Death Toll Reaches 748

Nearly 12,800 COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade and Broward

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What to Know

  • Since Friday morning, 1,373 new coronavirus cases have been reported by the Department of Health
  • Of the 748 deaths reported, 198 were in Miami-Dade County, while 115 were reported in Broward County
  • More than 3,700 people have been hospitalized in the state to date

Florida had more than 25,400 confirmed coronavirus infections Saturday, with 748 COVID-19 related deaths reported.

Total cases in the state reached 25,492, with more than 3,700 people hospitalized in the state to date, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health.

The figures revealed that 1,373 new cases had been added to the Department's count since Friday morning.

Of the 748 deaths reported, 198 were in Miami-Dade County, while 115 were reported in Broward County. Another 114 deaths were reported in Palm Beach County.

Miami-Dade led the state with 9,045 confirmed COVID-19 cases, about 35 percent of the state's total, followed by Broward with 3,838. Palm Beach County had 2,138 cases, and Monroe had 73.

At a news conference Saturday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the last two days of testing revealed the lowest percent of positive cases in the last two weeks.

The governor added that he would be putting together a task force focused on reopening the state in three separate phases. The task force would create short, medium and long-term recommendations, and would be comprised of small business owners and locally elected officials.

On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis affirmed the state's commitment to widespread testing and said officials were working to make tests accessible for underserved communities.

DeSantis said two walk-through coronavirus testing sites would open in Broward on Saturday, one at Mitchell Moore park in Pompano Beach and the other at the Urban League in Fort Lauderdale.

"The process is simple: any individual experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter where you've travelled, you can walk up to the site to receive a test, or you can call ahead (954-412-7300) to set up an appointment," DeSantis said.

The governor added that individuals would receive "a bag of resources" upon exiting the site, and those who test positive would be contacted by health officials and offered "tele-health" follow-up consulting.

Each site will kick off conducting 200 tests a day, DeSantis said, and if the model is successful it will be replicated in other areas in Florida such as Miami-Dade county.

As far as Florida's economic troubles that have unfolded as a result of the pandemic, DeSantis said that there has been a "massive surge in resources in terms of manpower" in response to the flood of unemployment applications.

"A month ago, there were only about 30 people in the entire state taking calls, since Florida had such a low unemployment rate," he said. "Now there are 2,000 involved either taking calls or in training to be able to do that.

The governor added that 100 new servers had been brought in, and staff from the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Management Service were working "around the clock" to process hundreds of thousands of applicants.

For those who cannot access online unemployment applications, DeSantis said, the state had partnered with Federal Express to offer free printing and mailing of the applications throughout the state. He said over 20,000 paper applications had been received so far.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said more than 180,000 workers in Florida filed claims with the state's unemployment system last week, raising the state’s total seeking jobless benefits to over a half million people since many parts of the Sunshine State went under lockdown last month.

NBC 6 and AP
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