Cathy Carter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspaper,s including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

As a Massachusetts native and a graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy - as are all citizens under state mandate - had no choice but to be born a Boston Red Sox fan.

A new survey shows that when it comes to COVID-19, a majority of Floridians believe the worst is not behind us.

The Sarasota County School Board on Tuesday will offer details on the school district’s reopening plan. They will also finalize the district’s mask policy, determining what constitutes a mask and what exceptions will be made.

With a 50-foot long L-shaped bar, weekly blues music nights and a Sunday gospel brunch, The Blue Rooster in Sarasota is the kind of place people come back to. And that's what they did when the live music club and restaurant opened back up in June after a two and a half month shutdown. 

But things changed as Florida quickly turned into a coronavirus hot spot.

Manatee County commissioners have passed a resolution requiring the wearing of face masks.

The vote was not unanimous and came after 5 hours of public discussion on Monday.

Manatee County Commissioners in June approved a plan to provide millions of dollars in federal money for businesses and organizations hit hardest by the coronavirus. 

The first phase of funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act --  is arriving through the State of Florida.

Citing concerns over the spread of coronavirus, the city of Sarasota is joining a growing list of Florida cities that require the wearing of face masks in public spaces.

The Sarasota City Commission approved the measure at a special meeting on Monday.

For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manatee County's school board room has been closed to the public. Meetings have been broadcast online and on TV but public comments were only accepted by email.

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has some families opting to move elderly parents out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Manatee County residents who have lost their jobs or significant income because of the coronavirus can apply for help to pay rent, mortgage and utilities bills.

Saint Leo University is closing its satellite location in Lakeland.  

The private Catholic university is based in Pasco County and operates remote locations in seven states.  Lakeland is one of 17  facilities slated to close over the next few months.

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Sylwia Ok from Sarasota.

The professional photographer opened a new studio just four months before the pandemic temporarily closed her business.  In her own words, Sylwia shares her story of navigating a business during the stay-at-home order and the joy of being able to spend more time with her young daughter.

By a 4-1 vote, Sarasota City Commissioners have decided to reopen Lido Beach.  

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced expanded capacity for restaurants starting Monday, local communities are figuring out how to enact those orders. 

Under the governor's directive, restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. They can also expand outdoor service as long as there is a six foot distance between tables.

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Rob from Sarasota County. He's asked that we not use his last name. Rob was furloughed from his job last month. Before the pandemic, he had an active schedule filled with community events and volunteering.

In his own words, Rob shares some thoughts on the mundane "new normal" routines of staying at home, and his hopes for how his community responds to the country's re-opening.

Manatee County commissioners have voted to purchase additional COVID-19 testing kits.  The move comes as the county continues to ramp up its testing capacity.

Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sarasota Tuesday to discuss the state’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a new COVID-19 testing site at the University Town Center Mall, the governor said Florida is ramping up testing and loosening restrictions on who can get screened for the virus.

Sarasota's Lido Beach will remain closed for now but city owned boat ramps at Centennial Park and Ken Thompson Park have been reopened to the public.

The City of Sarasota has approved a grant program aimed at helping small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative would help stabilize struggling small businesses with grants up to $5,000. Money would come from $2.2 million in economic development funds.

The grant program is still being finalized-- but will be eligible to businesses with 25 employees or fewer. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Debi Butler of Pinellas County.

Butler works part-time as a brand ambassador, helping promote products in Tampa Bay. Like many in the gig economy, her work has stopped for now.  But losing income wasn’t her biggest worry.

In her own words, Butler shares how Covid 19's demand on a drug is hurting her ability to treat her own illness.

Manatee County has had a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases and deaths when compared to the rest of the state.

According to the Florida Department of Health, as of Thursday afternoon, 55 people in Manatee County died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That’s the fourth most in the state. Meanwhile, 580 people have tested positive for the virus which represents a 15.4 % presumptive positive test rate, compared to a statewide rate of 8.8%.

After almost two-and-a-half weeks, Manatee County Commisioners have lifted a temporary local curfew.

The board first voted to enact the measure on April 3. It was in effect every night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Former Manatee County Commissioner Gwendolyn Brown has died from complications related to the coronavirus.

Brown, 68, was the county's first African-American commissioner.

Health care professionals and first responders are facing the strain of fighting the coronavirus at work while scrambling to arrange for child care at home. According to a new study, the US health care system appears disproportionately prone to labor shortages from school closures.  

In Sarasota County, a dozen public and nonprofit partners have teamed up to open safe spaces for the children of essential workers.  

Sylvia Earle has lived underwater as an aquanaut, walked the sea floor at a depth of over 1,200 feet and has led more than 100 ocean expeditions. The first female chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grew up in Dunedin and says her decades of diving have offered her an up-close view of the degradation of the world’s oceans.


St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has reiterated his call for Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide stay at home order.

Sarasota County has opened a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site but like others locations across the region, resources are very limited.

The Florida Department of Health announced the first positive case of COVID-19 in Manatee County on March 1.

Twenty-five days later, the county is opening its first drive-thru testing site. The four-day event starts Thursday and is limited to 200 people with an appointment and a doctor's prescription.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said that Florida's Surgeon General Scott Rivkees will be issuing a new health advisory in response to the coronavirus.

People 65 and older, and anyone with underlying medical conditions, will be asked to stay at home for the next 14 days to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.

The restaurant industry has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many other states, Governor Ron DeSantis recently issued an executive order that blocks Florida restaurants from serving food in their dining rooms.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

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