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Coronavirus in Florida latest: More Hillsborough deaths, re-opening starts today

Here’s what you need to know for Monday, May 4.

The number of dead and cases of coronavirus infection continued to climb on the eve of Florida’s soft “reopening."

Three more Hillsborough County residents have died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Those deaths were among 15 reported by the Florida Department of Health on Sunday, bringing the statewide death toll for the novel coronavirus to 1,403. Another 90 were hospitalized across the state.

Is re-opening safe?

It’s a question on many minds today as the first phase of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to get Florida’s economy going again. In case you missed the story that published yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald asked seven public health experts to review DeSantis’ plan. Five of them said the plan is sound, but it’s too soon. Read their reasoning and more about what else they said here.

Policing during a pandemic

Coronavirus has brought new of challenges and duties for police officers and sheriff’s deputies on patrol. Tampa Bay law enforcement officers share their stories.

Local government cash crunch

There’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic is going to take a big chunk out of local governments’ revenue, but it’s still unclear just how big. Here is how Tampa Bay county and city officials are grappling with the uncertainty.

‘Giving Tuesday’ in May

Giving Tuesday, a fundraising effort for non-profit organizations, usually happens in December, but the pandemic’s toll on those groups has prompted the idea of a May version called #GivingTuesdayNOW. Read more about the effort, and how you can help, in this story.

Tampa Bay reopenings

We have details on the reopening of some Tampa Bay malls here, Derby Lane here and local tax collectors’ offices here.

Parenting during a pandemic

Their child’s daycare has re-opened, but Times staff writer Matt Baker and his wife are not ready to send their son back yet. Read why in this first-person piece.

And on this May the Fourth, Times entertainment critic Jay Cridlin explains how Star Wars has been a round-the-clock presence in his family’s home. It’s the only thing keeping his son sane.

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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

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UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SCRAPBOOK: Help us tell the story of life under coronavirus

BRIGHT SPOTS IN DARK TIMES: The world is hard right now, but there’s still good news out there

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WATCH VIDEO: How some in Tampa Bay are finding light amid isolation

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