TIMELINE: How COVID-19 first impacted Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia and the world

March 1, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The first Floridians test positive for COVID-19.

At first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was focused on restricting travel and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces to keep the novel coronavirus at bay.

But when it came to masks, experts said those should be reserved for hospital workers and was not needed for the general public.

March 9

The CDC first recommends social distancing.

March 17

The first drive-up coronavirus testing site is established.

March 31

Just over 6,700 people in Florida had tested positive for the coronavirus, and 85 had died.

April 1

The governor issues a statewide stay-at-home order.

April 3

The CDC reverses courses on masks, and says everyone should wear them in public spaces.


Trials were underway were possible vaccines. Ten months later, and three have been authorized in the U.S.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.