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COVID-19 Morning Report

Florida Department of Health

State health officials reported 4,651 new COVID-19 cases, Monday, for a total of 812,063 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 45 new coronavirus-related deaths Nov. 2, increasing the statewide death toll to 17,043 fatalities.

Over the past seven days, the single-day average number of new infections reported stands at 4,292 cases. The average number of daily deaths reported over the past week comes to more than 55 fatalities per day.

The latest single-day positivity rate reported by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Sunday stands at 8.38%, marking the highest the single-day positivity rate has been in the past two weeks. Over that time period the single-day positivity rate has dipped as low as 4.64%.

Here in the Southwest Florida region including Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, health officials have reported a total of 68,882 COVID-19 infections and 1,659 coronavirus-related fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In an effort to avoid mass eviction during the pandemic due to financial hardship caused by COVID-19, Charlotte County has launched a program that aims to stabilize landlords while keeping tenants in their homes.

The Charlotte County Human Services Director Carrie Walsh said the program was created after recognizing many individuals still faced financial instability after receiving CARES Act assistance.

“ThisEviction Diversion program is specifically for those households that have received CARES Act funding through us but who are still behind and delinquent with their rent and facing eviction,” Walsh said.

Walsh said the program will help those facing homelessness and landlords who haven’t received payments in months.

“We designed it so that those apartment complexes that are located throughout the community that offer affordable housing, we can work with those property management companies to pay up to 5,000 additional dollars to pay that rent,” Walsh said.

Registration for the Eviction Diversion program ends Nov. 16. Find more information HERE.

Federal health officials issued a new order, Oct. 30, setting guidelines for how cruise line companies could resume passenger cruises.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspended cruise ship operations at U.S. ports in March as a tool to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The new guidelines came just a day before the agency’s 'no-sail' order was set to expire Oct. 31.

The AP reports, in order to resume passenger cruise operations, companies would have to demonstrate that they have procedures in place for COVID-19 testing and quarantining, should passengers or crew members need to be isolated.

The state of Florida has a plan how it will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine -- once it's finished. In late October, the Florida Department of Health came out with a draft plan for distribution of vaccine.

It will come in three phases. The first will go to frontline workers and elderly care workers.

News Service of Florida Health reporter Christine Sexton said the Department of Health looked at how they distributed vaccines in the past like the H1N1 vaccine or even the flu vaccine to get a sense of how it might work this time.

“So, they went back and looked at those efforts and what they did right and what they did wrong and where improvements can be made,” said Sexton.

The general public won't have access to the vaccine until key persons receive theirs first.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.
I was introduced to radio my sophomore year of college, after a classmate invited me to audition for a DJ job at the campus' new radio station, WFCF. I showed up, read a couple of cue cards, and got the job. The following semester I changed his major and radio has been a part of my life ever since.