TIMELINE: How coronavirus pandemic developed in Florida over last 6 months

By The Numbers

Coronavirus testing (WFLA photo)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — August marks six months since Florida leaders announced the first cases of coronavirus in the state.

While data released in May suggested as many as 171 cases of COVID-19 were detected in the state as early as January and February, it wasn’t until March 1 that what was believed to be Florida’s first cases of the virus were announced. Both cases came from the Tampa Bay area.

One of those cases was a 29-year-old Hillsborough County woman who had recently returned from a trip to Italy. The other was a 63-year-old man in Manatee County who had been in contact with someone who had the coronavirus.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide safer-at-home order in April. One month later, he announced his plan to reopen the state.

Most of Florida entered the first phase of reopening on May 4. The second phase of reopening started in most of the state on June 5.

Since then, cases throughout the state have increased significantly. Hospital ICUs have also said they’re running out of beds and running into staffing issues.

A total of 389,868 people have now been infected in the state with 5,518 Florida residents dead.

The state’s youngest fatality so far is a 9-year-old Putnam County girl.

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