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DeSantis In Central Florida as Orlando Health Expands COVID-19 Eligibility: Your Monday Update

A bottle of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is seen on a table before Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly received an injection Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected in Orlando Monday as an Orlando-area hospital system expands its vaccine eligibility.

Orlando Health said it has vaccinated nearly 10,000 of its employees so far. It is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline health care workers not affiliated with the hospital, including dental staff and people working emergency medical services.

It’s also offering it to residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities who haven’t been able to get vaccinated otherwise. In addition, Orlando Health is also offering the vaccine to all of its employees who haven’t gotten the vaccine yet. And Orlando Health employee’s family members can also get vaccinated if they are older than 65.

In total, more 255,000 Floridians have gotten the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, according to the CDC, that’s just 30 percent of the 801,000 vaccine doses distributed to the state.

Worst week ever in Florida for new case loads

Florida is setting new records for COVID-19, as the spread from the Christmas holidays begins to manifest in state numbers. Florida added more than 93,000 cases in the last week - the worst one-week total since the pandemic started.

The state is now averaging 13,125 new cases per day over the last week, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University analyzed by NPR. That’s a 23 percent increase over the week prior.

The percent of positive cases over the last week is more than 13 percent, which is getting close to the record set in July. Florida is averaging more than 100 deaths every day in the last week.

On New Year’s Eve, the Florida Department of Health announced that a more contagious strain of COVID-19 has been identified in a 20-year-old Martin County man with no travel history.