Number of Florida coronavirus cases nears 10,000

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Pinellas County COVID-19 sign. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (3 April 2020).

According to the state’s Department of Health website, there have been 9,585 positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida as of Friday afternoon. One hundred sixty-three people have died from the disease in the state.

Here’s the county-by-county breakdown of the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area:

In Hillsborough, there are 440 (with 5 deaths), in Pinellas 289 (with 7 deaths). There are 94 in Manatee (with 3 deaths), 118 in Sarasota (with 7 deaths), 41 in Charlotte, which reported its first death, 74 in Pasco (with 2 deaths), 36 in Hernando, 28 in Citrus (with 2 deaths) and 115 in Polk (with 2 deaths).

According to the CDC website, about 239,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive for coronavirus and there have been 5,443 deaths across the country.

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 9,408 people who tested positive for coronavirus in the U.S. have recovered.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that State Senator Janet Cruz is calling for the state official in charge of unemployment compensation to retire. The Tampa Democrat says that the Department of Economic Opportunity director Ken Lawson has not communicated with lawmakers about Florida’s broken unemployment website.

On Friday, the City of St. Petersburg announced what it calls the Fighting Chance Fund. It’s an emergency grant for St. Pete residents who own and independently operate small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 orders. There’s information at stpete.org.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Governor Ron DeSantis wants Florida to speed up several major transportation projects, including the new span of the Howard Frankland Bridge. The state’s Department of Transportation wants to take advantage of lower traffic during the coronavirus emergency to accelerate the $864 million project.

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