WUWF Coronavirus Live Blog

Credit Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Here 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/coronavirus

For updates on Florida cases of coronavirus, visit the FDOH dashboard.

The COVID-19 call center is available at 24/7 at 1-866-779-61621

Coronavirus Live Blog: Week of May 25

3 minutes ago
Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Monday, May 25 

Drive-Thru Testing in Baker Tuesday

A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will be open Tuesday, May 26 at Baker EMS Station #5 from 8-11 a.m., or when supplies run out. For details, call 850-344-0566 or visit healthyokaloosa.com. 

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, May 24

Latest from Florida DOH

Food Giveaway in Navarre 

Saturday, May 23

Escambia to open drive-thru testing site

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Meida

The Shark Gym owners, Suzy and Cozmo Digiano, remember the exact moment gyms were closed in Florida.

“March 20, 1:40 p.m.,” said Suzy.

It was a harsh reality for the small business which opened in 2018. Until gyms reopened statewide on May 18, the Digianos were trying to stay positive while handling an “influx of cancellations.” 

“We held our breaths for a little while,” said Suzy. “We knew people were being affected (by the pandemic). We just leaned further into our faith.” 

Sam's Fun City

A Pensacola landmark is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but will running with a new set of rules when it reopens this month.  

“I bought 50 acres on the corner of W Street and Highway 29, and the park now sits on about 25 of those (acres),” said Richard Sanfilippo, the owner of Sam’s Fun City in Pensacola.


Executive Order number 20-123 from Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked in on Monday, putting Florida in full phase one of the state’s reopening plan in the time of coronavirus. Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson addressed the change during his Monday news conference.

“The executive order allows gyms and fitness centers to open at 50% capacity; and allows restaurants, retail, museums and libraries to increase to 50%,” said the mayor.

The mayor also was to have requested that DeSantis reopen gyms, but the executive order rendered that moot.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, May 17

Latest Data From Florida Department Of Health

Saturday, May 16

Read Gov. DeSantis's Full Phase One Reopening Plan

Friday, May 15

Public Domain Image

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expanding Florida’s first phase of reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, by allowing a number of popular gathering places and entertainment venues to operate at twice the current capacity.

Speaking Friday in Jacksonville, the governor announced that restaurants and retail stores may expand from 25% to 50% capacity as of Monday.

Public Domain Image

The big news coming out of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Friday news conference was the reopening of gyms as part of a “full phase one” of reopening.

But he also mentioned allowing short-term rentals on a “case-by-case” basis. It’s a big issue for local governments as tourism season takes effect.

When asked by a reporter about the short-term rental ban, DeSantis said counties will be requested to provide a written safety plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to get the approval for short-term rentals. 

National Hurricane Center

With another active hurricane season expected beginning June 1st, Florida emergency management officials are taking into account a massive new factor: the coronavirus.

Speaking last week in Sarasota, Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s not known how the virus will react a month from now or three months from now; but we have to assume that it’s going to be with us in some capacity.

He added that they’re working with FEMA in preparing for the six-month season.

Bob Barrett, WUWF Public Media

On May 8 of each year, the city of Pensacola pays homage to Spain’s Bernardo de Galvez — who led a multi-cultural army that defeated the British in the Battle of Pensacola in 1781. But with the coronavirus and wildfires in the region, WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports the day kind of flew under the radar.

“We didn’t get the chance to say it on Friday, Galvez Day, so we did have a chance to celebrate it,” said Mayor Grover Robinson. “We typically have a reenactment [and] some things we didn’t get a chance to do over at the [Galvez] statue on Palafox.”


Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson says complying with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopen order is going to take some work and cooperation from city government, local merchants, and residents to keep all safe against COVID-19.

In perhaps the shortest-ever “Morning with the Mayor” — 19 minutes — Robinson spoke about closing Palafox Street to vehicular traffic on Mother’s Day. He and the First Lady visited the area, and had dinner there.

Northeastern University

A new group of professionals are joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. They’re called contact tracers.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, May 10

638 cases in Escambia; death toll at 18

As of 10 a.m., Escambia County has had 638 positive COVID-19 cases.

The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Escambia County residents is 18 individuals.

6 deaths in state; 595 new positive cases

From the state department of health:

Today, as of 10 a.m. Central, there are 595 new positive COVID-19 cases (588 Florida residents and 7 non-Florida residents) and six deaths related to COVID-19.

City of Pensacola

As part of Phase-1 of reopening businesses in Pensacola that were closed down by the coronavirus outbreak, merchants can get some advice on the limits under which they’re coming back.

“This service is provided as a courtesy of the city of Pensacola to the business community; you’re certainly welcome to contact the fire services,” said Mayor Grover Robinson, who in his weekly news conference read Executive Order 20-112 from Gov. Ron DeSantis.