STATEWIDE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement won’t carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities during the coronavirus crisis, the agency says.
That includes not patrolling facilities like the one being set up at the Orange County Convention Center in Central Florida.
The agency says in a statement that people shouldn’t avoid seeking medical care because they fear immigration enforcement.
Charter Communications has temporarily opened its live stream free to the public. You can watch Spectrum News via our live stream on your desktop or laptop without a subscription by visiting our website and clicking “Watch Live” in the upper right. Charter also is temporarily offering free broadband and wifi access for 60 days to families with K-12 or college students. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. The company also will open more than half a million wifi hotspots across the country.
In Central Florida, the National Guard is setting up a coronavirus drive-thru testing site in a parking lot at the Orange County Convention Center, just off State Road 528.
After the facility site is operational, people will need to first be screened to determine whether their symptoms qualify for testing.
In the Tampa Bay area, BayCare Health has set up a series of drive-thru testing sites at its urgent care locations. You can’t just show up and get tested, though — they’re for BayCare patients who have been told by their doctor to get tested.
In general, health officials have advised against going to an emergency department if you think you have COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Citizens are being urged to call their health care provider or Health Department to be advised on if and how they should get tested.
Officials want to keep medical facilities reserved for only the most dire cases.
If you think you’re sick, head to our coronavirus information page for hotline numbers and email addresses.
Wuhan reports no new virus cases
In a development that underscores just how much the outbreak has pivoted toward Europe and the U.S., Chinese authorities said Thursday that the city and its surrounding province had no new cases to report. The news offered a rare glimmer of hope for the rest of the world as it battles the virus, and perhaps a lesson in the strict measures needed to halt its spread.
It came as President Donald Trump likened the fight to “a war” and invoked emergency powers that allow him to compel manufacturers to deal with the pandemic.
Wuhan was where the outbreak first took hold and thousands once lay sick or dying in hurriedly constructed hospitals. But Chinese authorities said Thursday that all 34 new cases recorded over the previous day had been imported from abroad.
“Today we have seen the dawn after so many days of hard effort,” said Jiao Yahui, a senior inspector at the National Health Commission.
Sitting members of Congress tests positive
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of South Florida says he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Republican, whose district includes Hialeah, Doral, Clewiston, and Miami International Airport, says he had self-quarantined Friday after voting and decided not to return to South Florida because his wife has pre-existing conditions that put her at risk. A day later, he developed symptoms of fever and headache, he said in a statement.
Diaz-Balart tested positive Wednesday. He and has been working from his apartment in Washington and says he’s “feeling much better. However, it’s important that everyone take this seriously and follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid getting sick and mitigate the spread of this virus. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah also announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday. He said he began feeling “mild cold-like symptoms” Saturday evening upon returning from Washington and isolated humself. On Tuesday, he was tested.
The Democratic congressman in a statement said he is currently self-quarantined.
Also, Rep. Stephanie Murphy says she will self-quarantine after coming into contact with McAdams. Murphy represents parts of Seminole and Orange counties in the U.S. House.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said Rep. Stephanie Murphy had come into contact with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, when in fact, her staff tells us it was Rep. Ben McAdams. The article has been updated to reflect the correction.