New Record for COVID-19 Deaths in Florida 

This morning’s updated numbers revealed a new record in statewide deaths relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, just a day after Florida’s reopening phase began. This marks the first day of the pandemic with over 100 deaths. Additionally, there were 542 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

DeSantis Reports on Unemployment Problems 

Late yesterday, Governor DeSantis addressed problems with the state’s unemployment program. He acknowledged the fact that the system was unprepared to handle even a “mild recession” and pledged to review the online system.  Over 1.7 million claims have been submitted since March 15 and less than half have received their weekly benefits.  

Progress on COVID-19 Vaccine 

Yesterday, the European Union hosted a virtual vaccine summit. World leaders committed billions toward finding a successful COVID-19 vaccine. 108 vaccines are currently in development, of which eight have been approved for clinical trials

Zoos and Aquariums Make Plans to Reopen 

Zoos and aquariums around the state are making plans to reopen within the next couple months. The Florida Aquarium will open May 15 with limited visitors. ZooTampa is preparing to open in June at reduced capacity. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will reopen on May 9 with precautions in place.  

Sarasota to Launch Grant Program 

Sarasota City Commissioners have voted to approve a grant program to provide relief to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide up to $5,000 to eligible businesses with no more than 25 employees. The city expects to provide around 450 grants from $2.2 million in economic development funds

Updated Numbers   

There are now 37,439 cases throughout the state of Florida and 1,471 deaths. In Duval County, there are 1,084 cases and 14 deaths. In Hillsborough County, there are 1,324 cases and 32 deaths. In Orange County, there are 1,446 cases and 35 deaths. In Pasco County, there are 284 cases and 8 deaths. In Pinellas County, there are 788 cases and 44 deaths. In Polk County, there are 547 cases and 28 deaths. For updated data, visit:  




Florida Department of Health:    

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:    

Florida Chamber of Commerce: 

Tampa Chamber of Commerce: 

Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce: 
Lakeland Chamber of Commerce: 

St. Pete Chamber of Commerce: