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COVID-19 Morning Report

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Florida Department of Health

State health officials reported 1,533 new COVID-19 cases, Monday, bringing Florida's total to 736,024 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 48 new coronavirus-related deaths, Oct. 12, increasing the statewide death toll 15,559 fatalities.

Of the 5,574,469 COVID-19 tests that have been reported in Florida so far, the overall positivity rate stands at 13.2% and the latest single-day positivity rate increased to 4.25%.

The Florida Department of Health issued a news release, Monday, noting that hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19 are down more than 70% from July and touting that Florida has gone 60 consecutive days without a single-day positivity rate rising above ten percent.

Here in the Southwest Florida region including Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties health officials reported 143 new COVID-19 cases, Monday, for a total of 61,432 cases.

There were also two new coronavirus-related deaths reported in Sarasota County, Oct. 12, for a total of 1,506 deaths in the Southwest Florida region since the start of the pandemic.

Florida Gulf Coast University is offering COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic students in response to an increase in positive tests among residents of a dormitory on campus. The News-Press reports, testing began Friday for residents of Eagle Hall, which is one of five residential buildings that make up South Lake Village.

The South Lake Village dorms are primarily occupied by freshman and transfer students. As of late last week, the university had documented ten students who'd tested positive for the virus. Those students are in isolation and nearly two dozen others who had close contact with infected individuals are also in quarantine.

Since reopening this fall, FGCU has disciplined two fraternities and one sorority for holding large gatherings where mask wearing and physical distancing guidelines were not followed. University officials are requiring employees and students to wear masks on campus, to follow physical distancing guidelines, and to complete a health screening app every day they plan to be on campus.

Students who fail to comply with the university's COVID-19 protocols could be suspended for the academic year.

President Donald Trump held his first campaign rally since contracting COVID-19, Monday night, in Sanford. The AP reports, Trump defended his handling of the pandemic that so far has killed more than 215,000 Americans.

He also joked that he was healthy enough to plunge into the crowd and give voters, "a big fat kiss."

The AP reports there was no social distancing among rallygoers and that mask-wearing was spotty.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Carnival Cruise Line announced Monday it's cancelling all remaining cruises scheduled for November. Previously the cruise line had announced it was cancelling sails out of all ports except for Port Miami and Port Canaveral, but Monday’s announcement cancelled trips next month planned for six ships that operate out of those two Florida ports.

The AP reports, Carnival also announced the cancellation of five cruises out of Sydney, Australia planned for January and February.

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