On October 12, 2020, the Florida Department of Health reported test results of 37,456 Floridians; 1,592 of those tested positive for the virus.Within the past two weeks, 34,719 cases have been reported. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 726,934 cases,46,015 hospitalizations, and 15,412 deaths have been reported; with non-residents included, there have been 736,024 cases and 15,599 deaths.
March 5: A new case is announced involving an elderly man with severe underlying health conditions in Santa Rosa County who had recently traveled outside the United States.The Department of Health announces three new cases late on March 6, two in Broward County and one in Lee County. Officials also announce two deaths. March 9: Florida House members announce that five members attended a conference with infected COVID-19 participants.Governor DeSantis declares a State of Emergency.September 29: Governor DeSantis announced that the state will receive over six million rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.
On March 10, Joseph Glover, the provost of the University of Florida (UF), sent out a recommendation to UF professors to transition their classes online.The following day, UF announced all its classes for the spring semester will be transitioned online by the following Monday, and encouraged students to return to their hometowns. On March 11, Florida State University announced that classes will be moved online from March 23 to April 5, with in-person classes expected to resume on April 6.The Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida directed all state universities to make plans to transition into remote learning effective immediately. Essential functions, such as dining and library services are still operational.
Florida International University in Miami announced that it will transition to remote learning starting from March 12 until at least April 4.The University of South Florida in Tampa announced that all classes will consist of remote instruction for the rest of Spring 2020 semester.On March 17, University of Central Florida announced that it would be canceling graduation,two days later one of their students tested positive for COVID-19.On June 10, Florida International University received a $1 million grant from the National Institute of Health for vaccines.
Most of the state’s sports teams were affected by the pandemic. Several leagues postponed or suspended their seasons starting March 12. Major League Baseball (MLB) canceled the remainder of spring training,and announced that the season would be postponed indefinitely.The National Basketball Association announced the season would be suspended for 30 days, affecting the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.The National Hockey League season was suspended indefinitely, affecting the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.The Miami Open, a major tennis tournament on the ATP Tour and WTA Tour was canceled for the first time in its history on March 12.
In the wake of sports cancellations, the professional wrestling promotions All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and WWE re-located their weekly television programs (which normally toured to different arenas each episode) to sites in Florida in mid-March, with AEW filming its AEW Dynamite program at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville until April 1, and WWE filming or broadcasting all of its programming at its WWE Performance Center training facility in Orlando (including its flagship event WrestleMania, which was originally to be held at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium). Both promotions are filming behind closed doors with no audience.
Following the implementation of this exception, several sporting events were announced for the state; on April 24, UFC announced that a new UFC 249 and two UFC Fight Night cards would be held in Jacksonville in May.Two televised golf events benefiting COVID-19-related causes were scheduled for local courses, including TaylorMade Driving Relief at Seminole Golf Club (a skins game featuring Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff) on May 17,and The Match: Champions for Charity at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound—a four-ball competition by Turner Sports featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson .
On June 19, a number of COVID-19 cases were reported among team training facilities in Florida, including the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) and Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays temporarily closed its facility in Dunedin after a player showed signs of symptoms.