State Coronavirus Cases Spike, And Small Businesses Promised $50 Million in Relief

map of florida coronavirus cases

Graphic via Desirée Tapia for The Americano.

By Giselle Balido

March 23, 2020

With more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Jackson Health prepares for a surge of patients and the state gets ready to help business owners impacted by the growing crisis.

As testing for coronavirus ramps up in Florida, the numbers of those infected continue to rise. According to the latest figures released by the Florida Department of Health (FDH) Sunday night, there are 1007 cases across the state, with Broward County accounting for 217 cases and Miami-Dade County for 227. This latest number for Miami-Dade marks an increase of 50 new cases since an earlier report issued by the FDH on Sunday morning. While 553 cases have been attributed to people who either traveled, had contact with a confirmed case, or both, 554 cases remain under investigation at this time. Thirteen people have died from coronavirus in the state.

Cases Per County

Confirmed coronavirus in Florida cases per county

Miami’s Public Hospital Is Better Prepared to Treat Coronavirus Patients

Jackson Health says it is ready for a worst-case scenario, the possibility of a big surge of patients infected by COVID-19. While public health experts and healthcare professionals across the country have been warning about hospitals being overwhelmed by a wave of patients, Miami’s public hospital’s old rehabilitation hospital waits empty, ready to accommodate new patients if the need arises.

In addition, Jackson Health has renovated and expanded intensive care units at Jackson South and has invested in equipment across the system, such as ventilators and intensive care unit monitors, among other improvements.

Carlos Migoya, Jackson Health’s CEO, said the system’s substantial investments on improvements over the last few years –after county voters approved an $830 million miracle bond issue in 2013– has better prepared the public hospital to fight the novel coronavirus.

Loan Approved for Small Business Owners Impacted by COVID-19

Good news for small business owners across Florida who have been affected by this pandemic: On Friday the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) approved its first two small business emergency loans. The Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, which provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experience economic hardship due to COVID-19, disbursed $50,000 to Full Press Apparel and Jersey Mike’s Subs, two businesses operating in Tallahassee. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program administered by DEO in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation. 

In Florida, small business owners with two to 100 employees who have been affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. The loans, which are interest-free for up to one year, are designed to bridge the gap to either federal Small Business Administration loans or commercially available loans.

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by coronavirus can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. A business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19 To be eligible. The application period ends on May 8, 2020.



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