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COVID-19 Morning Report

Florida Department of Health

State health officials reported 3,377 new COVID-19 cases, Monday, for a total of 782,013 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 20 new coronavirus-related deaths, Oct. 26, increasing the statewide death toll to 16,652 fatalities.

Over the past seven days, the single-day average number of new infections reported stands at just over 4,135 cases. The average number of daily deaths reported over the past week comes to 61 fatalities a day.

Of the 5,992,068 COVID-19 tests that have been reported in Florida so far, the overall positivity rate stands at 13.05%.

The latest single-day positivity rate recorded by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Sunday, using the formula recommended by the World Health Organization, stands at 7.65%.

Over the past two weeks, Florida's single day positivity rate has ranged between 4.64% and 8.02%.

In the Southwest Florida region including Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, health officials have reported a total of 65,823 infections and 1,625 coronavirus-related fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Florida Department of Health is looking into cases where people tested positive for the coronavirus, then died months later. The goal is to determine whether the person died from the virus or from something unrelated to COVID-19. The governor’s office says the findings will help make sure the data is accurate. According to the Florida Department of Health data so far, more than 16,000 Florida residents have died from the virus.

The average age of people getting infected with COVID-19 is getting younger. Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp said that’s why a curfew is in place.

“The purpose of the curfew is simply to try and prevent groups of people from congregating, which is, you know, how the virus spreads.”

A judge in Miami-Dade County recently decided in favor of a strip club in Miami Gardens.

The judge found that the establishment and other late-night venues could stay open after midnight. That meant that for a short window of time the county did not have the midnight curfew.

However, last week, the county got a stay on that injunction. An appeals court ruled to put back the curfew, which has caused a lot of confusion.

Kemp said the county attorney’s office will likely deal with this issue in court. The curfew is in effect from midnight until 6 a.m. Kemp said if COVID numbers drop, the county might consider changing it.

South Florida is seeing hundreds of new coronavirus cases a day. Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Florida International University Dr. Mary Jo Trepka said the pandemic is ongoing even as businesses have fully reopened.

“Given that everything is open right now, the schools are open, it’s really important that we do what we can in terms of personally wearing masks when we’re within six feet of other people; staying home when we don’t feel well,” said Dr. Trepka.

With families planning to celebrate Halloween this weekend, Dr. Trepka said people should take precautions if they’re planning to go trick-or-treating.

“It’s so sad for the kids that Halloween is probably going to be affected. I think people have to maintain the six feet at all times,” said Dr. Trepka.

“So, maybe people can leave the candy at the end of the driveway or something like that.”

Dr. Trepka said people should continue avoiding large crowds because asymptomatic carriers can still spread the virus.

The top official for the Florida Department of Health in one of the state's most populous counties is urging parents not to host children's birthday parties, no matter their size, in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The AP reports, Dr. Raul Pino, health officer for the state Health Department in Orange County, said half of the 30 people who attended a recent sweet 16 birthday party in the Orlando area were infected with the virus.

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Robbie Gaffney is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.
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.