BLOG: Coronavirus updates from Friday, March 27

Posted at 5:09 AM, Mar 27, 2020

FLORIDA – ABC Action News is committed to providing Tampa Bay area residents all of the updates on the coronavirus, COVID-19, and the impact it's having on our way of life. To help you stay on top of it all, we've compiled all the updates for Friday, March 27. For today's updates, visit Don't forget we are in this together!

10:00 PM

  • Hillsborough County's safer-at-home order is officially in effect.

7:36 PM

  • Manatee County deputy tests positive for COVID-19 after vacationing in Orlando.

7:00 PM

5:30 PM

  • Hillsborough County clarifies its "safer-at-home" order saying publicly-funded parks will be closed.

5:00 PM

  • SeaWorld furloughs 90 percent of its employees, documents say. Affected SeaWorld employees will no longer be paid after March 31, according to documents.

4:35 PM

4:08 PM

3:50 PM

  • Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed "until further notice." Hourly parks and resorts cast members will still be paid through April 18.

3:33 PM

  • Winn-Dixie introduces special shopping hour for community heroes. Healthcare personnel and first responders can visit any Winn-Dixie or Fresco y Más grocery store from 8-9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday evenings to participate in the special shopping hours.

3:13 PM

  • Governor Ron DeSantis is suspending new vacation rentals in the state for two weeks
  • Visitors traveling from New Orleans or anywhere in Louisiana will be mandated to self isolate for-14 days
  • National Guard to be sent to Palm Beach amid increasing positive cases in the area
  • SNAP benefits will increase temporarily to the maximum amount
  • FWC emergency order is to enforce social distancing on waterways

3:04 PM
The Florida Aquarium extends their temporary closure through Sunday, May 10. However, the aquarium says they remain ready to open earlier if it is determined safe to do so.

2:48 PM

2:42 PM

  • Hillsborough County Emergency Management has secured 1,000 additional testing collection kits from the State of Florida in anticipation of re-launching its COVID-19 community collection testing site at Raymond James Stadium. An official date to re-open the site has yet to be determined

2:15 PM

  • Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier announces a county firefighter tested positive for COVID-19.

2:13 PM

2:01 PM

12:35 PM

  • The Tampa Police Department reports that, as of this morning, 38 officers are being monitored for COVID-19. 30 of the 38 are in self-quarantine. There is no update as of yet on the 9 officers awaiting test results.

12:11 PM

  • Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister tells residents to be aware of possible scams circulating related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sheriff Chad Chronister shares a few #coronavirus scams all residents should be on the lookout for over the next several months! #Retweet #scams #COVID19 #TeamHCSO #SheriffChadChronister

— HCSO #teamhcso (@HCSOSheriff) March 27, 2020

12:09 PM

  • The School District of Manatee County’s Food and Nutrition Services Department will provide kids and teens, 18 and younger, free lunch and breakfast for the next day during the mandated school closures, from Monday, March 30 through Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The free meals will be offered regardless of income. Visit for times and locations.

12:00 PM

11:20 AM

7:32 AM

  • Spain sees record number of daily virus deaths at 769 but official says new infections are easing.

7:30 AM

5:00 AM

  • U.S. cases surpassed China and Italy on Thursday; positive cases currently at 85,991. According to Johns Hopkins, 753 people in the U.S. have recovered. In Florida there are 2,359 residents who have tested positive and 29 reported deaths.

Important updates from Thursday, March 26

Important updates from Wednesday, March 25

Important updates from Tuesday, March 24

Important updates from Monday, March 23

Important updates from Sunday, March 22

Important updates from Saturday, March 21

Important updates from Friday, March 20

Important updates from Thursday, March 19


Important updates from Wednesday, March 18


Important updates from Tuesday, March 17


This blog is being updated frequently. Stay with ABC Action News for the latest.