Staff Report

Monday

May 18, 2020 at 7:22 AM
May 18, 2020 at 4:17 PM

Catch up on today’s latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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We will update this story throughout the day with the latest news about coronavirus and its effects in Sarasota-Manatee and across Florida.

TODAY IS MONDAY

As of Monday, 46,442 people in Florida had tested positive for COVID-19, and there had been 1,997 deaths. You can also track coronavirus cases by ZIP code in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

4:15 p.m.: Florida reopening university campuses in the fall

Florida’s reopening push picked up speed Monday as gyms, libraries and museums began welcoming people again and state university officials signaled they will reopen campuses in the fall.

4:00 p.m.: Sarasota gyms, fitness studios reopen

Monday was the first day gyms and fitness studios were allowed to reopen under an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis. Gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate at about 50% capacity, provided they allow for social distancing and clean more frequently.

1:30 p.m.: DeSantis touts reopening push, defends unemployment system

As he works to reignite the economy and get people back to work, DeSantis also offered a forceful defense Monday of the state’s efforts to improve the unemployment compensation system for those who remain sidelined by coronavirus-induced layoffs.

11:50 a.m.: 46,442 cases and 1,997 deaths as of Monday

Florida added more than 2,300 new confirmed COVID-19 cases since Friday, for a total of 46,442 statewide, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Monday update. Deaths rose by 80 to 1,997.

9:30 a.m.: Gyms, libraries and museums can reopen today

Gyms, libraries and museums across Florida can reopen Monday while retail establishments and restaurants are allowed to expanded from 25% to 50% capacity as Gov. Ron DeSantis continued with his phased reopening plan.

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See our complete coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

6:31 a.m.: Coronavirus worries threaten to limit Sarasota polling sites

On March 17, during the presidential preference primary, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner decided to consolidate polling locations days before the election, causing 15 site changes. He cited inadequate staffing because of concerns among poll workers — whose average age is 69, the age group at the highest risk from COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

6:01 a.m.: Some restaurant changes are here to stay

Now that restaurants are allowed to reopen at limited capacity, some in the Sarasota-Bradenton area said that the COVID-19 precautions they put in place are here to stay.

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OVER THE WEEKEND

~ Eager for recreation and workouts, residents rejoice at reopening of Sarasota amenities

~ Food distribution draws thousands to Ed Smith Stadium

~ 2 new COVID-19 deaths in Manatee County Saturday

~ Teaching art isn’t easy online

~ 2 new COVID-19 deaths in Manatee County Saturday

~ New COVID-19 cases up in Sarasota but down in Manatee as testing increases

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Ways you can help

If your finances are stable and you want to help others in the area who are not as fortunate, here are just three of the many ways you can give back:

~ Season of Sharing has been reactivated to help people in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties who have been impacted by the pandemic. Plus, there’s matching grants, so any donation you make is likely to be doubled.

~ The Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation have created an initiative to target hunger relief, homeless services and mental health care.

~ With an initial gift of $500,000 from an anonymous donor, the Manatee Community Foundation has established the Manatee County COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support the evolving needs of health and human service organizations.

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