Coronavirus updates

Thursday’s Coronavirus Updates: 13 new SWFL cases, 1 more state death

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, there are 2,484 positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Florida. The case count includes 2,352 Florida residents and 125 non-Florida residents. There are currently 29 deaths reported in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Five new deaths reported Thursday morning were those who tested positive for the virus in Clay, Hillsborough and Orange counties.


  • Total number of cases: 2,484 (up from 2,355)
  • Number of Florida residents: 2,352 (up from 2,235)
  • Number of non-Florida residents: 125 (up from 120)
  • Deaths: 29 (up from 28)


Total number of cases: 142*

  • Lee County: 66 (up from 56)
  • Collier County: 67 (up from 65)
  • Charlotte County: 4 (up from 3)
  • DeSoto County: 5 (up from 4)
  • Glades County: 0
  • Hendry County: 0

*Click HERE for a SWFL case-by-case breakdown – updated daily.

As of the most recently revealed numbers, there have been 28,644 total tests administered in the state of Florida, with 2,359 positive tests. 24,553 tests have come back negative, and the remainder are pending, according to the FDOH website.

NOW HIRING: SWFL companies adding jobs as business picks up amid coronavirus crisis

LATEST CLOSURES: Southwest Florida business updates and store closings



  • Previous livestreams:
      • 5PM: White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing – WATCH it here
      • 2 p.m.: Lee County government press conf. – WATCH it here
      • 10:45 a.m.: Speaker Pelosi talks about the stimulus package – WATCH it here


    US leads world in confirmed coronavirus cases

    The United States now leads the world in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

    According to a running count by Johns Hopkins University, the number of people infected in the U.S. topped 82,000 on Thursday. That’s just ahead of the 81,000 cases in China and 80,000 in Italy.

    Italy has the most confirmed deaths of any country with more than 8,000. More than 1,000 people have died in the U.S.

    -Associated Press

    President sends letter to America’s Governors

    Credit: White House Press Office.
    Credit: White House Press Office.

    Naples police ramping up beach patrol

    Despite beaches being closed in Naples, people are still making there way onto the shorelines, disregarding the yellow tape and no trespassing signs. Naples officers say they turned away 400 people from the beach Thursday in just a two hour span. They’re not stepping up patrols to catch trespassers. If you’re caught, you could face a fine of up to $500.

    -Gina Tomlinson

    ‘Stay home:’ LCSO on patrol for those gathered together

    In a news conference on Thursday, the Lee County government and sheriff’s officer were begging people to please, just stay home. Sheriff Carmine Marceno said he will have deputies patrolling air, land and sea looking for “hot spots” of people gathered together. When they find them, they’ll be armed with fliers hoping to get people to go their separate ways. If not, and the situation warrants, deputies will have the authority to make arrests.

    -Andryanna Sheppard

    Lee County makes changes to marriage license issuance

    The Lee County Clerk’s Office has closed its face-to-face customer service counters and stopped performing wedding ceremonies. Marriage licenses will be issued on an essential, limited, need-only basis, effective March 30. For more information, visit

    DeSantis extending telehealth, immunizations for state employees

    Gov. DeSantis issued an executive order Thursday extending telehealth benefits and immunization benefits for all state employees. Additionally, the cost for influenza vaccines will be waived for those employees.

    2 Lee Health employees test positive for COVID-19

    Two Lee Health employees who were exposed at work have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Dr. Antonucci.

    “Doctors and nurses are the heroes on the frontlines of this fight, putting themselves at risk to care for their patients. I am incredibly thankful for the tireless work they do and their willingness to provide care during these extraordinary circumstance. We wish them a speedy recovery,” he said.

    At present, there are 118 employees being quarantined. The hospital currently has 11 COVID-19 patients in isolation.

    Senate passes $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. Here’s what’s in it

    The Senate passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package late Wednesday. The vote was 96-0.

    It was approved almost 24 hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday that a bipartisan agreement had been reached. He proclaimed that the measure would provide help for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak and for American families and businesses.

    US jobless claims hit 3.3 million, quadruple previous record

    Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week – more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982 – amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

    The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is doing to the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.


    The Florida Department of Health has opened a 24-hour COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Questions may also be emailed to [email protected] Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

    LINK: Florida Department of Health COVID-19 updates

    *The map is best viewed on a desktop computer. If you don’t see the map above tap HERE for a fullscreen version.

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