Florida exceeds 5,000 positive coronavirus cases

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The coronavirus is still spreading exponentially in Florida. According to the state Department of Health website, as of Monday morning, there have been 5,473 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. Sixty-three people have died.

Here’s the county-by-county breakdown of positive coronavirus tests for the Tampa Bay area.

In Hillsborough, there are 253, in Pinellas 126. There are 39 in Manatee, 61 in Sarasota, 18 in Charlotte, 38 in Pasco, 21 in Hernando, 17 in Citrus and 55 in Polk

According to the CDC, as of Monday morning, there were about 122,000 total positive coronavirus cases in the U.S., with 2,100 deaths. Both numbers are up about ten-fold from a week ago.

Singer–songwriter and part-time Pinellas County resident John Prine is hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms. An announcement Sunday night on his Facebook page says that Prine was hospitalized Thursday and is in critical condition. The “Angel from Montgomery” singer was placed on a ventilator on Saturday. Earlier this month Prine’s wife and manager Fiona Whelan Prine said that she had tested positive for the coronavirus. She said the couple were quarantined and isolated from each other.

Florida is working to set up more highway checkpoints to deter travelers from New York from arriving in the state. More than 1,000 people have died from COVID-19 in New York. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Saturday the screening of travelers on Interstate 95 will be similar to the measure adopted Friday on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana. The checkpoints will require travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days. DeSantis said President Trump also talked to him about a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut amid concerns that their residents have infected people in other regions, such as Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that to help combat the shortage of coronavirus testing kits, researchers at the University of South Florida have developed a 3-D printed nasal swab. Swabs have been in short supply across the country, including in Tampa Bay. That has hampered the ability to test potentially contagious people for coronavirus.

The possibility of a strike by some Instacart workers highlights the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the grocery delivery business. Workers are worried about their safety as they try to meet a surge in demand for online groceries. Some workers have called for a walk-out Monday, saying they need hazard pay and protective gear, among other demands. Instacart announced some improvements to safety and its tips system yesterday. Some workers are considering the strike, but others only recently took up the gig amid mass layoffs in other industries and appreciate a paying job.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that an employee who works at an Amazon warehouse in Ruskin has tested positive for coronavirus. The company made the announcement Sunday but did not say when the person tested positive or what their role was. Amazon says they have notified employees at the site. Any employees who had close contact with the person will be asked to stay away from the building and self-quarantine for 14 days.

information from the associated press was used in this report

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