A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced Wednesday all state-supported coronavirus testing sites will temporarily close this week ahead of the anticipated arrival of a weather system that's expected to become a tropical storm.

Why it matters: Florida has reported more than 450,00 cases and over 6,300 deaths from COVID-19, including a record 216 deaths in 24 hours announced Wednesday. "All sites have free standing structures including tents and other equipment, which cannot withstand tropical storm force winds, and could cause damage to people and property if not secured," the emergency management's statement said.

What to expect: The potential tropical cyclone is forecast to impact Florida with "heavy rains and strong winds arriving to South Florida as early as Friday," per the statement.

  • Florida Division of Emergency Management said the testing sites would remain closed from 5 p.m. Thursday and reopen on a rolling basis.
  • All sites are anticipated to be reopened at the latest by 8 a.m., Wednesday, August 5.

Of note: Free COVID-19 testing remains available through local County Health Departments.

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Oct 21, 2020 - Health

CDC changes "close contact" guidance for COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep LAGO / AFP, Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its definition of who is considered a “close contact” of an individual infected with the coronavirus in a report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: The update is likely to pose challenges for schools, workplaces and other group settings as the U.S. prepares for a third coronavirus wave. It also reinforces the importance of masks in the face of President Trump’s repeated attempts to belittle their efficacy.

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Oct 21, 2020 - Health

New York reports most coronavirus cases since May

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an Oct. 6 press briefing. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York reported over 2,000 positive coronavirus cases on Wednesday — the most infections seen in the state since May, per COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and health department data.

The big picture: Hospitalizations have been creeping back up in New York, alongside 38 other states. New York is currently seeing more than 900 hospitalizations a day, the CTP reports.