Florida is approaching the 150,000 mark for coronavirus tests performed, ranking third in the country just behind California, according to the COVID-19 Tracking Project. Just over 10% of these tests have come back positive, putting the state eighth in the nation for actual cases by COVID-19 Tracking Project numbers, despite the wider testing.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is partnering with the Army Corps of Engineers to open a 450-bed temporary hospital inside the Miami Beach Convention Center. DeSantis said it will have capacity to scale up to 1,000 beds if necessary, and hospital staff have been contracted to run the operation along with members of the National Guard. DeSantis has requested it be complete by April 20, a deadline the commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers acknowledged would be difficult to meet.
Gov. DeSantis said Florida’s hospitals still have 43% of their beds available, emphasizing this site would only be used if those beds run out.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said he hoped it wouldn’t be necessary.
“We are preparing for the worst and praying for the best,” Gelber said, his mask rainbow-patterned to acknowledge the city’s postponed Pride celebrations.
The University of Florida confirmed two new cases today: a College of Agricultural and Life Sciences undergraduate student and a Building Services employee for Smathers Library and Library West. The student did not live in on-campus housing. This brings the total of positive cases at UF up to 32.
Here are the latest COVID-19 updates by the Florida Department of Health, as of Wednesday evening:
- 15,698 total cases in Florida
- 2,082 hospitalizations in Florida
- 323 deaths in Florida
In Alachua County:
- 144 total cases
- 19 hospitalizations
- Zero deaths
Alachua County has a higher count of coronavirus cases compared to surrounding counties, however total reported deaths jumped today to seven in Clay County and five in Citrus County.
Find the full FDOH coronavirus dashboard here.