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COVID-19 Morning Report

Florida Department of Health

State health officials reported 2,628 new COVID-19 cases, Thursday, bringing Florida's total to 709,144 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 131 new coronavirus-related deaths, Oct. 1, increasing the statewide death toll to 14,619 fatalities.

Of the 5,333,017 COVID-19 tests that have been reported in Florida so far, the overall positivity rate stands at 13.3% and the latest single-day positivity rate dropped to 4.62%.

In the Southwest Florida region including Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties health officials reported 211 new cases of the virus, Thursday, for a total of 58,946 cases.

There were also 15 new coronavirus-related deaths reported in the Southwest Florida region, Oct. 1, including nine new deaths in Lee County and three new fatalities each in Collier and Sarasota Counties for a total of 1,435 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Florida’s ban on evictions amid the pandemic ended Thursday. Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed it to expire citing current federal protections. Advocacy Director for the Greater Legal Services of Miami’s Tenants Rights Unit Sean Rowley said some renters still remain at risk.

“Landlords who want to evict their tenant because the tenant is not paying the rent try to get around the moratorium by bringing a termination of a month-to-month tenancy,” said Rowley.

“so you have an oral tenancy where you pay your rent but you don’t have a written lease which expires at a certain date.”

Rowley said people will still need to pay back rent and any late fees that they’ve accrued over the past several months. The federal evictions ban expires Dec. 31.

Flu season is right around the corner and health officials in Collier County say it is more important than ever to receive the flu vaccine this year due to COVID-19. TheFlorida Department of Health in Collier County will be hosting two community flu clinics this month.

The Florida DOH says the flu vaccine can reduce the severity of the flu and prevent hospitalizations. The state department of health in Collier County urges people to get vaccinated to prevent overwhelming healthcare systems during the pandemic.

On Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 DOH-Collier will host flu clinics from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at their Naples and Immokalee branch locations.

Patients will not be required to show identification and the vaccines will be offered free of charge for those who do not have medical insurance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of six months get the vaccine, unless they have contraindications, like immunosuppression or anaphylactic reactions to eggs.

Calls to Florida’s Child Abuse hotline have dropped over the last several months. However, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell says that doesn’t necessarily mean abuse had decreased. He said it’s another symptom of the coronavirus.

“Every summer when school lets out our teachers don’t get to see the kids. So we actually experience a pretty significant drop every summer,” said Poppell.

“But with COVID, you add your school resource officers, people weren’t going to the doctor as much. So, you have a lot of folks who are mandatory reporters not seeing our children. So it is concerning to think about it wasn’t just 60 days for the summer, we had a significant drop for five months.”

Poppell said as students are returning to school and other activities the number of calls to the hotline is returning to what he calls a “more normal” level.

Officials with the Carnival Cruise Line announced, Thursday, that most of its U.S. sailings will remain cancelled through the end of the year. The AP reports, Carnival says it's cancelling cruises from all ports excepts its home ports of Port Canaveral and Port Miami, but the company notes that voyages departing from those ports in November and December may be cancelled as well.

The announcement came one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a ban on large cruises in U.S. waters until Oct. 31.

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Alexander Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Miami. He majored in English and was the the editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper from 2014-15. He was WLRN's digital intern during summer 2015. He subscribes to too many podcasts and can't get away from covering the arts in Miami.