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Florida Matters: Survivors Urge Public To Take COVID-19 Seriously

Stephanie Colombini
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

More than 700,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida since March. And for those who have recovered, the illness has changed their lives forever.

Health News Florida reporter Stephanie Colombini talked with several people about what it was like to have COVID-19. Her reports have appeared this week on Health News Florida and WUSF News.

We bring you three of those stories on this week's “Florida Matters.”


 You'll hear from Dr. Devandra Amin of Clearwater, Ambyr Lix of Land O' Lakes and Mary Ann Shea of Sarasota.

Host Bradley George also spoke with Colombini about her experiences reporting the series.

The Florida Channel
Stephanie Colombini

"I was surprised at how open people were. We got great responses," Colombini said. "I think people really want to tell their stories, what I heard from everybody was 'I just feel strongly about my experience out there so that other people can learn from it.' Because there is this concern that some in the community don't take this pandemic seriously."

After talking to six Tampa Bay residents for the series, Colombini said she'd like to know more about how contact tracing is being conducted, among other issues.

"It doesn't seem like much was done at all (for the people she interviewed) and that's supposed to be a critical element of curbing outbreaks," she said. "And it didn't seem like anyone (her interviewees) had a clue and they were hanging to guess and put the pieces together of who might have infected them."

Dinorah Prevost is a WUSF Public Media news intern for summer 2018.
Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by , the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.