Associated Press

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A grim blame game with partisan overtones is breaking out over COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. They are a tiny slice of the population but a shockingly high proportion of Americans who have perished in the pandemic. 

The Trump administration points to facilities with low federal ratings for infection control and to some Democratic governors who required nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Governor's Press Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to improve the reading skills of the state's youngest students who have fallen further behind because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Immokalee, a town of 25,000 north of the Everglades, has become a coronavirus hot spot, with cases more than doubling in the past two weeks.
VIsit Florida

Among the numerous rural areas across the U.S. that have recently experienced coronavirus outbreaks are migrant farmworker communities in Florida.

This 2019 photo provided by the family shows Joe Sullivan, right, of the Chicago-area, with his brother, Neil. When COVID-19 began spreading across the country, Neil prayed it wouldn’t hit Elisabeth Ludeman Developmental Center - where 346 people live in
Family photo

Neil Sullivan was angry, frustrated and crushed with guilt. His brother Joe was rushed by ambulance from a home for people with developmental disabilities to an emergency room with a possible case of the coronavirus.

WHO says people without symptoms probably account for about 6 percent of spread of the coronavirus, at most.
iStock

The World Health Organization says it still believes the spread of the coronavirus from people without symptoms is “rare,” despite warnings from numerous experts worldwide that such transmission likely explains why the pandemic has been so hard to contain. 

Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said how states deal with the aid will help determine how much more federal money they might receive in the future.
npr

Most states are taking their time spending the coronavirus relief aid Congress sent them earlier this spring, even as they push for more federal help.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

MIAMI — State officials hired a Florida doctor to give coronavirus test results to more than 100,00 residents, even though he’d been on probation by the state medical board for a decade.

WHO says people without symptoms probably account for about 6 percent of spread of the coronavirus, at most.
iStock

New research shows how dangerous the coronavirus is for current and former cancer patients.

Four years after Russian efforts to sow division in the U.S., Rubio warned: "I’m not sure that we’re any less vulnerable than we once were."
AP

The new Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is warning that foreign actors will seek to amplify American conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and find new ways to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

Rebekah Jones
Syracuse University

Records show that the woman who raised questions about Florida’s COVID-19 data had been reprimanded and ultimately fired for violating Health Department policy by making public remarks about the information.

The state has conducted about 200,000 tests statewide since the start of the pandemic.
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE  — More than 1,700 Floridians will have to be retested for the coronavirus after their state-administered tests were damaged while being transported to the lab for analysis.

Guests flocked to a theme park shopping district, a casino fired up its slot machines and businesses prepared for serving customers in Florida on Sunday, months after the coronavirus pandemic forced life to ground to a halt over health safety concerns.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit a nursing home in Orlando and deliver personal protective equipment on Wednesday.

The Florida Keys will reopen to tourists on June 1, more than two months after the island chain closed to visitors to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

Florida's two largest and hardest-hit counties are making plans to reopen from the coronavirus economic shutdown.

Emergency room sign
Flickr Creative Commons

Emergency room visits have dropped by almost 50% across Florida since the pandemic began and hospital officials are warning that patients suffering from heart attacks and strokes are delaying or refusing care because they are afraid of hospitals.

Florida is reporting that more than 650 patients have died from the coronavirus at the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

A union representing the Lakeland Police Department has requested its members be given extra "pandemic pay" for working during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mounds of harvested zucchini and yellow squash ripened and then rotted in the hot Florida sun. Juicy tomatoes were left to wither — unpicked — in farmers' fields.

A total of 227,000 Floridians filed for unemployment last week.

That’s according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Labor and marks a more than 300 percent increase over the week before.

Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Friday that anyone arriving in the state from Louisiana must self-quarantine like those arriving from New York already must because of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis said he is expanding his quarantine order to include Louisiana after officials in the lightly hit Panhandle worried that people will flee New Orleans as the number of positive tests there climb.

The Florida Highway Patrol and sheriff's offices will set up checkpoints to screen cars arriving from Louisiana, DeSantis said.

Grocery giants Publix and Winn-Dixie say they will begin installing plexiglass barriers at the cash registers to protect its workers and customers from the coronavirus.

A statement from Winn-Dixie parent company, Southeastern Grocers, says all of its stores should have the barriers installed by April 3; a Publix spokeswoman says its stores should have the barriers up within the next two weeks.

President Donald Trump has declared Florida a disaster area because of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Sunscreen being applied to child's face.
Wikimedia Commons

An effort by Key West to ban the sale of sunscreen believed to harm coral reefs is on the verge of being overturned.

WHO says people without symptoms probably account for about 6 percent of spread of the coronavirus, at most.
iStock

Another Princess cruise ship has been cleared by federal health authorities to dock in Florida after testing of two crew members cleared them of the new coronavirus and a "no sail" order was lifted. 

Plans for former Vice President Joe Biden to hold a campaign rally in Tampa Thursday have been cancelled in response to the coronavirus public health emergency.

A cruise ship held off Florida's coast while two crew members were tested for the new coronavirus has docked at a port.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency as Florida battles an outbreak of the new coronavirus that has already killed two people. The governor also appealed for calm, even as he took that step Monday.

A day after announcing the first two deaths on the East Coast attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to activate to Level 2.

Saturday’s order ensures the state has all the necessary resources engaged to respond to the outbreak, according to DeSantis.

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