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00000177-b32b-d5f4-a5ff-bbfb6e660000Here is the information you need to know about COVID-19 in Northwest Florida. We will keep this post updated with the latest information from local, and statewide agencies. For inforamtion from Centers for Disease Control and prevention: cdc.gov/coronavirusFor updates on Florida cases of coronavirus, visit the FDOH dashboard.The COVID-19 call center is available at 24/7 at 1-866-779-6121

Coronavirus Live Blog: Week of April 27

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Friday, May 1

46 more deaths in Florida

Since 11 a.m. Thursday, 46 people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 in Broward, Charlotte, Dade, Hillsborough, Lake, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

There are a total of 34,728 Florida cases with 1,314 deaths related to COVID-19.

Another Escambia death; cases at 532

As of 3:30 p.m. today, Escambia County has had 532 positive COVID-19 cases. The number of COVID-19-related deaths in Escambia County residents is 12 individuals.

Escambia news update from 9 a.m. today


Santa Rosa special COVID-19 meeting is Tuesday

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners will have a special meeting in the Administrative Complex, 6495 Caroline St. in Milton, at 9 a.m. Tuesday to provide a COVID-19 update.

This meeting will be streamed lived and archivedonline.  Seating is limited due to CDC recommendations. Additionally, a public input form is available for input/comment on individual agenda items or to bring forward issues to be heard at public forum. 

Baptist to resume elective surgeries

Baptist Health Care will resume elective surgeries beginning Monday. Baptist will continue to adhere to state and federal requirements regarding patient care and will continue to implement all CDC guidance and protocols to ensure the safety of those we serve, our team members, and the community. Baptist will continue to implement social distancing, universal masking and screening of all patients and visitors.

COVID‐19 Symptom Update

People with COVID‐19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2‐14 days after exposure to the virus. The CDC has updated its list of symptoms, adding six new possible indicators. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID‐ 19:

* Cough

* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

* Fever

* Chills

* Repeated shaking with chills

* Muscle pain

* Headache

* Sore throat

* New loss of taste or smell 

Thursday, April 30

Escambia cases top 500; death total at 11

As of 4 p.m. today, Escambia County has had 506 positive COVID-19 cases. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Escambia County residents is 11 individuals.

50 more deaths, including in Okaloosa

Since 10 a.m. Central on Wednesday, 50 people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 in Broward, Charlotte, Dade, Hernando, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Okaloosa, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties.

Today, as of 10 a.m. Central, there are 497 new positive COVID-19 cases (483 Florida residents and 14 non-Florida residents) and fifty deaths related to COVID-19. There are a total of 33,690 Florida cases with 1,268 deaths related to COVID-19.

While Florida’s testing has increased over the past week, the percent of those testing positive for COVID-19 overall is 9 percent. On April 29, 5 percent of new cases tested positive.

Okaloosa Elections Office to reopen in phases

The Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections, Paul Lux, has announced a phased reopening of his offices to the public.

Beginning Monday, the Crestview Elections Headquarters will be reopened to the public for normal business hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Shalimar office will be reopened soon, and will be announced via the Supervisor of Election’s website and Facebook page.  The Shalimar location will still have a secured lockbox for those who wish to drop off registration applications, Vote-by-Mail requests, etc., located immediately outside of the office door.

More information can be found at www.voteokaloosa.gov.

UWF to host testing site Saturday

A new mobile testing site at the University of West Florida will open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.  

The drive-through test site will be at the SP2 parking lot, which is on the east side of campus, near the East Sports Complex. Individuals are asked to remain in their vehicles, and pre-screening is not required. The National Guard will be there to assist. Friday will be a dry run open to Escambia and Santa Rosa County first responders from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29

Santa Rosa County Testing Sites

Drive-through COVID testing sites are being set up throughout the county, no pre-screening is required. If you do not live in one of the areas listed below, other locations are being set up in the county soon. Details will be made available via this news release. Contact the Department of Health (850-564-2307) for the closest site.

Thurs., Apr. 30, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Bagdad Mill Site Park, 6953 Main St. in Bagdad (minimum of 100 tests)

Fri., May 1, 9 a.m. - Milton Community Center, 5629 Byrom St. (minimum of 300 tests)

Fri., May 1, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Chumuckla Elementary, 2312 County Rd. 182 in Jay (minimum of 100 tests)

Sat., May 2, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Southern Raceway, 9359 Nichols Lake Rd. in East Milton (minimum of 100 tests)

Sun., May 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Jay Community Center at the recreational park, 5259 Booker Ln. in Jay (minimum of 100 tests)

Mon., May 4, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Berrydale Baptist Church, 6730 FL-4 in Jay (minimum of 100 tests)

Free Vehicle Sanitation For Health Care Workers This Saturday 

AdvantaClean is offering free vehicle sanitation and purification to health care workers, supporting staff members, EMTs, law enforcement, firefighters and any other personnel dealing with the pandemic as a "thank you" for their service.

The free service will be available 9 a.m.-3 p.m. May 2 at The American Legion at 311 Main St. in Destin.   

47 more deaths in Florida

From the state Department of Health:

Since 11 a.m. Tuesday, 47 people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 in Broward, Charlotte, Dade, Hendry, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Orange, Palm Beach and Polk counties.

As of 10 a.m. Central today, there are 347 new positive COVID-19 cases (332 Florida residents and 15 non-Florida residents) and forty-seven deaths related to COVID-19. There are a total of 33,193 Florida cases with 1,218 deaths related to COVID-19.

Mobile Food Distribution Next Week In Fort Walton Beach

Drive through ONLY. Call 850-243-4531 for more information

When: Tuesday May 5 / 9:00am – 10:00am

Where: The Salvation Army – parking lot 425 Mary Esther Cutoff NW. Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

  • First Come, First Served
  • Only clients in vehicle will be served
  • Proof of county residence required (Walton or Okaloosa residents only)

Escambia cases at 496; death toll at 11

As of 2 p.m. today, Escambia County has had 496 positive COVID-19 cases. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Escambia County residents is 11 individuals.

Ascension Sacred Heart Testing Site Information

Due to inclement weather, all Ascension Sacred Heart COVID-19 drive-through testing is cancelled today.

Community Health Northwest Florida Testing Site Information 

Gonzales Court testing is cancelled due to rain (cannot test in PPE in rain), but will be rescheduled, date TBD.

Tomorrow’s drive-through testing at Brownsville Community Center will now require no pre-screening and is open to Escambia County residents only. Testing supplies are limited.

Navarre Beach reopens Friday

Navarre Beach will reopen Friday on a daily basis from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Parking will be available at ALL public lots and spaces. Visitors may also walk and bike the multiuse path of the island of Navarre Beach.

Navarre Beach Pier also will reopen Friday 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. daily. Normal pier admission will be in place; daily and annual passes may be purchased. 

Tuesday, April 28

83 more deaths in Florida; death toll at 1,088

From the state Department of Health:

Since 10 a.m. Central Monday, 83 people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 in Broward, Collier, Columbia, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota, St. Lucie and Suwannee counties.

As of 10 a.m. Central today, there are 708 new positive COVID-19 cases (696 Florida residents and 12 non-Florida residents) and eighty-three deaths related to COVID-19. There are a total of 32,846 Florida cases with 1,088 deaths related to COVID-19.

Escambia has 485 cases; death toll at 11

As of 11 a.m., Escambia County has had 485 positive COVID-19 cases.

The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Escambia County residents is 11 individuals.

Greater Pensacola Chamber Of Commerce And Partner Agencies Extending Medical Supply Drive

The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is partnering with BRACE (Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies) and Hillcrest Baptist Church to extend the continuous site for medical supply donations to May 4th. Donations can be made from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday at both Hillcrest Baptist Church Campuses, 800 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola or 3960 Spanish Trail Road, Pensacola. Items being accepted:

  • Respirator Masks N95 1860/1860s
  • Standard Face / Surgical Masks (Loop or Tie-on)
  • Flexible Mini-Tip Flocked Swab-Nasopharyngeal
  • Full Length Face Shields
  • Isolation Gowns
  • Nitrile Medical Examination Gloves

In addition to the medical supply drop-off locations, the Chamber has partnered with Brownsville Church and Marcus Pointe Baptist Church to offer a drop off site for baby donations for moms in need. This is based off of a community needs assessed by our faith network. Donations requested include diapers, wipes, and formula (only). Drop off location is at Marcus Pointe Baptist Church, 6205 N. W Street, through May 4. Donations can be made from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.
For more information, please contact the Chamber’s Director of External Affairs, Sara Lefevers at 850-356-8735 or slefevers@pensacolachamber.com. 

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Provides Reemployment Assistance Update

As of April 27, DEO has verified 824,412 unique claims and paid 392,051 claimants a total of more than $523 million. 


The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides unemployment benefits to those that may not otherwise be eligible under Florida’s state Reemployment Assistance program, including independent contractors and individuals who are self-employed. To apply, visit www.floridajobs.org and select "File a Claim" to apply and be considered for PUA.


DEO will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to process claims and payments faster. CONNECT will be available from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. daily. This schedule does not affect individuals that wish to file a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hours a day, seven days per week at www.floridajobs.org and select "File a Claim."


DEO has a mobile-friendly online application for individuals filing a new Reemployment Assistance claim available here.

Free Food And Cleaning Supply Giveaway This Thursday

Gulf Power to provide one-time bill decrease of 40% next month

Lower fuel costs are enabling Gulf Power to issue a one-time decrease of approximately 40% for the typical residential customer bill in May – a significant savings amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Gulf Power will deliver savings to customers through a one-time bill decrease, rather than the standard practice of spreading out savings over the remainder of the year. For more information, visit gulfpowernews.com.

Monday, April 27

Escambia cases at 470; death toll at 11

As of 2 p.m. today, Escambia County has had 470 positive COVID-19 cases.

The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Escambia County residents is 11 individuals.

14 more deaths in Florida

Today, as of 11 a.m., there are 610 new positive COVID-19 cases (610 Florida residents and 0 non-Florida residents) and 14 deaths related to COVID-19. There are a total of 32,138 Florida cases with 1,088 deaths related to COVID-19.

Since 11 a.m. Sunday,14 people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 in Broward, Dade, Duval, Hernando, Leon, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas and Volusia counties.

Ascension Sacred Heart COVID-19 Testing Schedule

The schedule for the week of April 27 for Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart’s drive-through centers in Pensacola, Destin and Panama City to provide community testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are: 

  • Pensacola location is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, from Monday through Friday
  • Destin location is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Panama City location is open 9 a.m. to 1 pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays

Interested persons who want to get tested for the virus must first call a designated call center first for a phone screening. The number is 850-746-2684. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Escambia to discuss reopening public beaches

The Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to discuss reopening Escambia County public beaches. View the agenda.

This meeting will be streamed live and archived online for virtual viewing. The public is strongly encouraged to provide input prior to the meeting. A public input form is available here. Comment forms must be submitted prior to the vote.

Santa Rosa County Opens Second Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant

Santa Rosa County, in partnership with the Florida SBDC at UWF, has opened a second Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program cycle and it will remain open until the funds are depleted.

Santa Rosa County has funded the grant with a contribution of $100,000 with an additional $60,000 contribution from the City of Milton Florida and $60,000 from the City of Gulf Breeze. All three grants will be open until funds have been depleted from each contributor.

For more information, click here.

Baptist videos aid in COVID-19 preparedness

Baptist Health Care regularly produces videos to keep the communities it serves informed about the measures that are in place to provide care for COVID-19 patients and to protect the health and well-being of patients, team members and the community. Each video is a message from Baptist President and CEO Mark Faulkner that serves as an update on the current status of COVID-19 preparedness at Baptist facilities and an assessment of the effectiveness of efforts to flatten the curve. 

The videos are easily accessible at ebaptisthealthcare.org/Health/videos. New videos are posted about every week. 

ECAT Taking Proactive Measures To Keep People Safe