North Santa Rosa

The State of Florida Issues COVID-19 Updates

The State of Florida is responding to COVID-19. In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware regarding the status of the virus, the Florida Department of Health will issue this update every day, seven days per week.Governor Ron DeSantis is in constant communication with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees as the State of Florida continues to monitor and respond to the threat of COVID-19.

Today, the Florida Department of Health (Department) highlighted the state’s most recent milestone in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 – the successful testing of more than 100,000 Floridians. Florida is now the state with the second-highest number of tested individuals. Only New York has tested more individuals.

The Florida Department of Health also released additional information on cases in the counties most impacted by COVID-19 through the twice-daily report. Information now available for these counties now includes breakouts for race and ethnicity, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 positive individuals, as well as county-wide information on daily percent of emergency department visits that result in cough-associated admissions, and the daily percent of emergency department visits that mention cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath.

Actions the state has taken to respond to COVID-19:


At the direction of Governor DeSantis, State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees declared a Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 in Florida.

Governor DeSantis announced that the State ordered an additional 2,500 test kits to supplement the adequate resources already available to test for COVID-19. These additional test kits will enable the Department of Health, working with Florida health care providers, to test up to an additional 625,000 individuals. The Governor also suspended non-essential in state and all out-of-state travel for state employees for 30 days.

Established an Incident Management Team to coordinate response operations.

Defined a high-level phased response strategy for COVID-19.

Activated a dedicated incident command post for on-site response activities.

Conducted three public health and health care stakeholder conference calls to provide statewide updates on the current outbreak situation, response actions and guidance for pandemic planning. Over five hundred participants joined the calls.

Established a public call center for questions regarding COVID-19. The call center launched Monday, March 2 and is open 24/7.

Developed and distributed COVID-19 presentation materials to County Health Departments (CHD) for use at community meetings.

Activated the Joint Information Center in coordination with the Division of Emergency Management.

Developed and implemented protocols for investigation, surveillance and monitoring for COVID-19 to rapidly detect and contain cases.  

Established mechanisms for monitoring and coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding epidemiological activities.

Distributed CDC Interim Guidance for public health personnel evaluating Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases at their home or non-home residential settings to CHDs.

Approved and disseminated an updated Clinician Screening Tool for identifying COVID-19 PUIs.

Implemented testing at all three State Public Health Laboratories.

Distributed updated CDC guidance for schools to CHDs and the Department of Education.

Distributed updated laboratory guidance regarding implementation of testing at State Public Health Laboratories.

Developing a laboratory surge plan.

Identifying and monitoring close contacts of presumptive cases. Any close contacts with symptoms will be tested.

Implemented private lab testing.

Developed and disseminated pandemic planning guidance. 

Advised CHDs and HCCs to retain expired personal protective equipment until further until further notice.

Developing infographics for first responders (fire, law enforcement and EMS) regarding infection control and personal protection for COVID-19. 

At the Governor’s direction, a public-private partnership has been put in place between Memorial Healthcare in Broward and the National Guard to set up a mobile testing unit.

At the direction of Governor DeSantis hiring additional epidemiologists from university health programs to help with workload.

Governor DeSantis directed the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to extend all existing nursing home and assisted living facility licenses for 90 days to remove distraction from patient care.

Launched an interactive data tracking dashboard on that is updated twice daily.

Developing protocols for County Health Departments in the protection of their staff and clinic activities through the development of safety and health guidance.

Continue to have daily hospital calls and began having daily calls with the aging and vulnerable population groups.

Continue to coordinate efforts for obtaining lab testing supplies.


Florida is receiving its third shipment from the SNS. Once the shipment has been received in its entirety, Florida will have received the following from the SNS. These materials are being distributed across the state.

N95s 540,000

Faceshields 246,000

Coveralls 1,026

Gloves 714,354

Surgical Masks 1,290,000          

Gowns 201,000

After conducting a thorough assessment of needs, Director Moskowitz has requested the following supplies through Direct Federal Assistance. Supplies are being delivered on a rolling basis, and inventory is being distributed throughout the state 24 hours a day.

5 mobile intensive care units

5,000 ventilators

5,000 hospital beds

50,000 two oz. bottles of hand sanitizer

250,000 coveralls

500,000 gloves

500,000 gowns

500,000 collection kits

100,000 16 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer

150,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits, including coveralls, gowns, and goggles   

2 million N95 face masks

To support communities responding to COVID-19, Governor DeSantis has directed FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz to expedite the delivery of more than $170 million in Hurricane Irma reimbursements to cities, counties and hospital districts that have now reached the 50-percent auditing threshold to receive funds.

Find more information on DEM’s response to COVID-19 here. 

Posted by on Apr 4 2020. Filed under Local, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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