Rubio: Florida to receive over $22M out of $8.3B bill to deal with coronavirus outbreak in U.S.

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MIAMI – Florida will receive more than $22 million from the $8.3 billion bill the Senate passed on Thursday to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, according to Sen. Marco Rubio.

The funds are meant to strengthen the Department of Health and Human Services and to help state and local public health agencies to subsidize testing and treatment.

“Another $500k will also be sent to the state as part of emergency funding,” Rubio wrote on Twitter.

The Senate’s 96-1 vote sends the bill to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature. The House passed the bill on Wednesday with a 415-2 vote.

The bill includes funding to subsidize $7 billion in small business loans nationwide. According to Rubio, the Small Business Administration will be handling the loans to small firms impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Vice President Mike Pence with President Donald Trump and White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, speaks during a coronavirus briefing with Airline CEOs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As of Thursday afternoon, the U.S. death toll had climbed to 12 and no Florida COVID-19 patients had died of the virus.

The number of cases in the U.S. climbed to more than 200, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine of those are Florida cases, according to the Florida Health Department.

State officials reported two of the infections were Florida residents in Hillsborough County who traveled to Italy.

A woman wearing a mask takes photos in front of the Spanish Steps, in Rome, Thursday, March 5, 2020. Italy's virus outbreak has been concentrated in the northern region of Lombardy, but fears over how the virus is spreading inside and outside the country has prompted the government to close all schools and Universities nationwide for two weeks. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

One Florida patient, who lives in Manatee County, did not travel to any of the countries where the infection is spreading, officials said.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers returning from Henan province alight from a specially arranged train at the Shenzhen North Railway Station before dividing into groups to be bused to their workplace in Shenzhen, southern China's Guangdong Province, March 5, 2020. Factories are gradually reopening in China months after the new coronavirus that first emerged there upended daily routines. While China looked for signs that life would return to normal, other parts of the world started to experience what the country and its people went through. (Liang Xu/Xinhua via AP) NO SALES (Xinhua)

Five of the cases are Florida residents who were repatriated from China and one is a non-Florida resident. A patient in New York was diagnosed after traveling to Miami-Dade County.

Officials reported Florida also has 69 pending testing results and 248 people being monitored.

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