News

Superintendents Ask State To Address COVID-19 Testing Issues

11 hours ago
classroom scene with teacher at whiteboard
Taylor Wilcox

As Florida schools reopen this month, district superintendents are calling on state officials to address two major challenges: the need for rapid testing for COVID-19 and a statewide plan to handle students and staff members who test positive.

Ocala Mayor Vetoes Mask Ordinance Passed By City Council

12 hours ago
woman wearing mask
npr

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn has vetoed a mask ordinance passed by the city council.

The council approved the mask ordinance 4-1 as a measure to combat the coronavirus. The same four votes would be needed to override the veto.

FSU, Hospital Partnering On COVID-19 Testing Lab

13 hours ago
iStock

Florida State University and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare are partnering to operate a lab that can quickly process COVID-19 tests. The lab can process 1,000 tests per day and give results in 24 hours or less.

Vladimir putin
Kremlin pool photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a coronavirus vaccine developed in his country has been cleared for use and one of his daughters has already been inoculated, even as international experts have questioned its safety.

Your Favorite Store Or Restaurant Is Open: How Do You Know It's OK To Go In?

14 hours ago
Masked restaurant worker
Dapiki Moto

Just because many businesses are open again doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. The coronavirus is still on the loose — actually surging in many locations — which means people have to make serious choices about their health all day, every day.

family member holding older person's hands
Unsplash

Saying that there have been “multiple instances" where long-term care providers have barred state health officials from entering facilities, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration Monday issued a pair of emergency rules making clear access isn’t optional.

Gov DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis, while expressing hope that the coronavirus crisis could ease across Southern states in September, said on morning radio shows Monday that the pandemic will “loom” over every budget and policy debate during the 2021 legislative session.

Marion County Jail Nurse Dies From COVID-19

22 hours ago
Heart of Florida

A nurse who worked for more than 12 years at the Marion County Jail has died from COVID-19.

Charles “Dan” Manrique, 71, died on Saturday. He was the night charge nurse at the jail.

Florida Police Benevolent Association

In Florida prisons, more than 12,000 inmates and 2,000 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus. At least 59 inmates and two staff members have died.

Jimmy Baiardi, Corrections director with the Florida Police Benevolent Association, says that state prisons have become a difficult workplace for corrections officers.

Legislator Can't Donate Plasma At Own Event Due To FDA Policy

Aug 10, 2020
State Rep. Shevrin Jones is interviewed by TV station
Facebook

State Rep. Shevrin Jones is the first — and only — out, gay, Black member of the Florida Legislature.

He’s also a survivor of COVID-19.

WUSF

A Gibsonton couple is suing Tampa's St. Joseph's Hospital after their infant son died and his body was lost.

Test Sites Quickly Attract Thousands For COVID-19 Vaccine Study

Aug 9, 2020
person holding syringe and vial
CDC

Dr. Eric Coe jumped at the chance to help test a COVID-19 vaccine.

At his urging, so did his girlfriend, his son and his daughter-in-law. All received shots this past week at Accel Research Sites, a clinical trials facility in DeLand.

Health Care Workers Of Color Nearly Twice As Likely As Whites To Get COVID-19

Aug 8, 2020
Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Health care workers of color were more likely to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, more likely to report using inadequate or reused protective gear, and nearly twice as likely as white colleagues to test positive for the coronavirus, a new study from Harvard Medical School researchers found.

Nursing Homes To Get Rapid COVID-19 Tests

Aug 8, 2020
iStock

Nearly 70 percent of the state’s nursing homes will receive rapid test kits from the federal government in the coming weeks after being identified by regulators as having increased risks for COVID-19 infections.

President Donald Trump’s administration announced last month that it would send “point of care” COVID-19 test kits to nursing homes in viral hotspots and to facilities the federal government considered to be at an elevated risk for COVID-19 outbreaks.

Richard Catabay

<p> Citing budgetary concerns, members of the Florida Board of Medicine delayed until October a decision on a request to waive physician licensure and renewal fees for the next two years. </p> </p> Board of Medicine executive director Claudia Kemp said she had a conversation with a state budget official who flagged the request, which was made by Florida Medical Association.  </p> </p>  “She felt that if we did this (waived licensure fees), we would be operating in a deficit,” Kemp told members of the Board of Medicine, which held an all-day meeting Friday .

iStock

Florida’s Medicaid managed-care plans will see their rates increase later this year, state officials said Thursday.

The plans that participate in Florida’s Medicaid managed-care market will have an average 1.5 percent rate increase effective Oct. 1, according to Tom Wallace, an assistant deputy secretary for Medicaid finance and data analytics at the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Florida welcome sign
Google Maps

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has rescinded an order requiring people traveling from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to the Sunshine State to quarantine or isolate for 14 days.

Man vaping and blowing vaper from his mouth
Nery Zarate

Can you get the coronavirus from secondhand smoke?

Experts say secondhand smoke isn’t believed to directly spread the virus, but infected smokers may blow droplets carrying the virus when they exhale.

Being able to smell the smoke might be a sign you’re too close to the smoker. The respiratory droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze are believed to be the main way the virus spreads.

And people also exhale those droplets when smoking, as well as when vaping. You should avoid secondhand smoke regardless, since it can cause various health problems. 

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini
News Service of Florida

A battle about the constitutionality of a Leon County ordinance that requires people to wear face masks to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 is headed to a state appeals court.

iStock

The Florida Board of Medicine has agreed to weigh in on whether a new state law aimed at protecting patients from unwanted pelvic exams applies to male patients and examinations in which body parts are viewed but not touched.

America's Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness Of Any COVID-19 Vaccine

Aug 6, 2020
Lynne Shallcross / KHN illustration (Getty Images)

For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

But in the United States, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.

Teachers, Parents Of Students With Autism Prepare For School

Aug 6, 2020
Child wearing facemask
Marcia Wolfe

Alachua County Public Schools are set to open on Aug. 24, with many students resuming distance learning. But for children on the autism spectrum, that is not the best option.

Danielle Liso, assistant director of the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, said students with autism are generally very hands-on learners and learn best through direct interaction with their instructors.

Commissioner Kimberly Overman
Hillsborough County Government / From Video

As expected, Hillsborough County Commissioners voted Wednesday to absorb the duties of the Emergency Policy Group, which has guided the county through crises for several decades.

The unanimous vote means the dissolution of the group, which included three commissioners, the sheriff, mayors of Hillsborough's three cities and the school board chair.

Medicaid
iStock

As the number of Floridians relying on Medicaid for health care climbs, the state is moving to change a rule about disenrollment and when people can request to be switched to different managed care plans.

State Mandates Testing For Staff At Disabilities Facilities

Aug 5, 2020
Sunland Center
Google Maps

Group homes and other facilities that care for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities will be required to start testing staff members every other week for COVID-19 beginning Aug. 24, under an emergency rule issued late Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

mosquito
CDC

Health officials in the two South Florida counties have confirmed more cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

Palm Beach Health Official Praises Downward COVID-19 Metric

Aug 5, 2020
Dr. Alina Alonso speaks to commissioners
Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County’s health director says the most important indication that shows how much the coronavirus is in the community is trending down.

Two Miami Testing Sites To Offer 15-minute COVID Tests

Aug 4, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Governor's Press Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that starting Tuesday, state-run COVID-19 test sites at Marlins Park in Miami and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens will offer 15-minute tests for people 65 and older as well as for people who have coronavirus symptoms.

University of Florida Food and Agricultural Sciences

Health officials in the Florida Keys say they've confirmed four new cases of Dengue fever. That brings the total number of cases reported this year in Monroe County to 26.

In a statement, the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County said there are indications the mosquito-borne infections were acquired locally. The four people have received medical treatment and are expected to make full recoveries.

child at doctor's office getting a bandaid
CDC

A deadline to apply for additional funds has been extended to Aug. 28 for health care providers who take part in Medicaid and the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The money is part of an effort by the federal government to provide assistance to medical providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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