As our nation continues efforts to mitigate both the spread and impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, I am committed to providing you with as much information and as many resources as possible to keep your family healthy and secure during, and in the immediate aftermath of this crisis. While I’m working on legislation that will provide resources for families hit by layoffs or other coronavirus-related challenges, I’m also working with state and federal leaders to get Florida every tool it needs to see us through this.
Below you’ll find a variety of resources and information. Please continue to check back here for updates.
As of March 16, 2021:
- Statewide Totals: The state has reported 1,979,634 cases since the pandemic began. A total of 32,348 residents have died from COVID-19 a 584 increase from last week. The non-resident death toll is 611 an increase in 26 people from last week.
- Florida has reported 31,327 new cases in the last week
- District Totals by county:
- Gadsden County: 5,504 total cases with 91 deaths
- Leon County: 29,791 total cases and 294 deaths
- Jefferson County: 1,411 total cases and 24 deaths
- Madison County: 2,025 total cases and 43 deaths
- Hamilton County: 1,575 total cases and 23 deaths
- Columbia County: 7,739 total cases and 162 deaths
- Baker County: 3,324 total cases and 57 deaths
- Duval County: 90,716 total cases and 1,246 deaths
- Variants: Cases confirmed to be caused by variants in Florida is at least 753 an increase of 111 people. Florida continues to have the highest number of residents with the B.1.1.2 the UK Variant
- Testing & Positivity Rates: The state reported a daily positivity rate of new cases of 6.13%
- Hospitalizations: Florida has had 82,307 hospitalization since the pandemic began.
- Vaccinations: Over 6.53 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Florida. Nearly 1.88 million people have received their first dose and nearly 2.37 million people have received both doses or one Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- Of those who completed the two-dose vaccination, or one Johnson & Johnson 101,962 people lived in Duval County and 38,895 lived in Leon.
- Nationwide Totals: The US has reported more than 29.2 million coronavirus cases, including at least 532,355 deaths. In the last week there were 454,073 new cases and at least 8,505 new deaths.
- Vaccinations: Over 109 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATES
- On Friday, President Biden announced the next steps in the war-time effort to speed COVID-19 vaccinations by expanding the pool of qualified professionals able to prescribe, dispense, and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. HHS added additional categories of qualified people including dentists, EMTs, midwives, optometrists, paramedics, physician assistants, podiatrists, respiratory therapists, and veterinarians. This action also authorizes medical students, nursing students, and other health care students in the professions listed with proper training and professional supervision to serve as vaccinators.
- Last week, HRSA announced that Neighborhood Medical Inc. and North Florida Medical Center in Tallahassee, Agape Community Health Center and I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, Inc in Jacksonville will be receiving vaccines through Biden’s Community Health Program. HRSA alerted them last week regarding the onboarding process which will take up to six weeks.
- On Thursday, Biden directed all states to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults by May 1 in an effort to return the U.S. to a state of normalcy by July 4. Starting today, Florida residents who are 60 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine statewide. After that, DeSantis said he'll likely lower the age of eligibility to 55 and older, before finally opening the vaccine to all adults 18 and older sometime in April.
- The satellite sites run by FEMA have been moved from the Westside and Northwest Jacksonville to the Carver Center on 5th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach and the Oceanway Center on Sago Avenue West on the Northside. The sites will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 23. The sites will offer up to 500 Pfizer vaccine a day at each site. The walk-up sites don’t require an appointment, and shots will be administered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Nationwide Totals: The US has reported more than 28.8 million coronavirus cases, including at least 523,850 deaths. In the last week there were 403,697 new cases and at least 11,947 new deaths.
- Vaccinations: Over 92.1 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Today the Administration announced that they are investing $250 million to encourage COVID-19 safety and vaccination among underserved populations. HHS will offer the funding as health literacy grants to localities, who will partner with community-based organizations, to reach racial and ethnic minority, rural and other vulnerable populations. The new initiative Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 is expected to fund 30 projects in urban communities and 43 projects in rural communities for two years.
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours. http://www.floridahealth.gov/
As of June 23, 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now spread to more than 213 countries and territories around the world. Over 9,295,365 people have been infected worldwide, including over 2,348,956 in the United States, more than 109,000 in Florida, and nearly 4,000 in Florida’s 5thDistrict. The United States leads the world in confirmed, reported coronavirus cases, surpassing China.
To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19 in Florida, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, please visit the travel advisory website.
March 4, 2020 — House Passes $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Response Package
Free Meals for Children
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have partnered with 2-1-1 to activate a text line and call center, open 24/7, for families to find free meals for children under 18 during the current COVID-19 school closures. Floridians can call 2-1-1, text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211, or visit www.SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com, enter their address, and search up to 50 miles to find participating free meal locations near them.
Operating Status of Rep. Lawson's Offices
Following guidance from the Committee on House Administration and the House Sergeant at Arms, my office is implementing social distancing measures in the interest of everyone’s health. Our offices in Washington Tallahassee and Jacksonville are closed and staff are teleworking remotely — scheduled meetings will be transitioned to conference calls and all assistance will be provided digitally or via telephone.
Capitol Visitor Center will be closed to all tours, including those led by members and staff. The Capitol building itself will also be closed to all tours. The Capitol and Senate office buildings will remain accessible to members, staff and members of Congress. Beginning March 12, Rep. Lawson's DC Office will move all outside meetings to telephone or videoconference.
Your Mental Health
The coronavirus public health emergency can take its toll on our mental well-being. Taking care of your mental health is important during this emergency. Resources are available on how to keep your body and mind strong.
CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
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