News Service of Florida

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State health care regulators on Wednesday issued an emergency order freezing admissions at a Brandon assisted living facility accused of not taking proper steps to control the spread of COVID-19.

Hepatitis A sign
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida had 74 hepatitis A cases in June and has hit 680 cases this year, according to data posted on the Florida Department of Health website.

The numbers, updated as of Saturday, show a gradual monthly decline in cases this year and a large reduction from last year, when the state totaled 3,411 cases and Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency. 

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As the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 increases, Florida hospitals are asking the state to waive rules that require managed-care organizations to authorize care before it can be delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries.

In a phone call with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ top health care regulators this week, Dawn White, vice president of government and community relations for Baptist Health South Florida, asked whether the state would consider waiving Medicaid prior-authorization rules as Florida sees thousands of new COVID-19 cases each day.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
WUSF

Florida will remain under a state of emergency because of COVID-19 for at least two more months, including during the Republican National Convention in late August in Jacksonville. 

Jackson Hospital Miami
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Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he will send about 100 medical personnel --- mostly nurses --- to South Florida to help with the surge of COVID-19 patients at Jackson Health System in Miami.

At a news conference Tuesday in Miami, DeSantis said he is directing nurses under contract with the state to work in South Florida while he waits for the federal government to respond to a request he made to Vice President Mike Pence for additional medical personnel.

DeSantis stressed that the additional staff was needed because of the numbers of patients being seen at Jackson.

jail bars in a hallway at a prison
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Florida’s prison system recorded 443 new coronavirus cases and an inmate death over the holiday weekend, according to figures released Monday by the state Department of Corrections.

In all, 1,742 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the state Department of Corrections.
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The number of inmates in Florida’s prison system who have died from COVID-19 has increased to 20, while more than 1,700 inmates have tested positive for the disease, according to figures released Monday by the state Department of Corrections.

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Preparing to present plans Tuesday to the university system’s Board of Governors, leaders of state universities have continued this week to finalize details of how they will reopen campuses for the fall semester.

The issue has drawn attention as hospitals treat patients with COVID-19, which is particularly dangerous to seniors and can require treatment in ICUs.
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Fewer than one in four hospital adult intensive-care unit beds statewide are empty, according to data updated Wednesday by the state Agency for Health Care Administration. 

The ruling came in a class-action lawsuit filed by pretrial detainees at Metro West Detention Center against Miami-Dade County and Daniel Junior, director of corrections and rehabilitation.
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Disputing that officials had shown “deliberate indifference,” a pided federal appeals court Monday overturned a preliminary injunction that sought to force Miami-Dade County to take additional steps to curb COVID-19 at a jail. 

The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came in a class-action lawsuit filed in April by pretrial detainees at Metro West Detention Center against Miami-Dade County and Daniel Junior, director of corrections and rehabilitation. 

As the virus continues to spread within the state prison system, COVID-19 has caused the deaths of 18 inmates as of Friday.
Florida Department of Corrections

The number of COVID-19 cases among Florida prisoners has surpassed 1,600, state corrections officials reported Friday. 

The inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, are concentrated in 13 prisons in various parts of the state. 

With 301 inmate cases, Homestead Correctional Institution has the highest number of cases in the state. Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol has 212 cases and Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper has 205 inmate cases. 

Alex Azar
Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has notified Florida doctors and safety-net health providers about the availability of upward of $25 billion in additional federal COVID-19 relief money. 

Medicaid
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As Floridians lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of people enrolled in the state’s safety-net health program. 

Under the "phased approach" announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Division of Emergency Management will provide "an initial disbursement" of 25% of each county's allocation.
WUSF

More than two months after Florida received the money, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the state will start to release nearly $1.3 billion in federal funds to cash-strapped counties struggling amid a recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson Memorial Hospital from the street
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Twenty-eight Florida hospitals will see bumps in their Medicaid reimbursement rates under a plan the Agency for Health Care Administration has announced.

Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center has had 12 employee cases and four youth cases.
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The number of youths in Florida’s juvenile-justice system who have tested positive for COVID-19 jumped to 73 on Tuesday, up from 47 a week earlier, according to the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Hepatitis A sign
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida has seen a drop in cases of hepatitis A this year after a massive outbreak in 2019 --- but still has a higher-than-usual number of infections.

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady initially issued the suspension in March and subsequently extended it to July 2.
Florida Supreme Court

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady on Monday issued an order extending through July 17 a suspension of criminal and civil jury trials because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inmates have been unable to see their loved ones and family members in person since March 11, when the department first suspended in-person visitation across the state.
Associated Press

As Florida’s prison system has recorded nearly 1,900 COVID-19 cases, the Florida Department of Corrections on Monday announced it is extending a ban on visitors through June 28.

Medicaid
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One of the most-important parts of a Medicaid “waiver” that Florida has received from the federal government is the authority to receive up to $1.5 billion a year in supplemental money to help care for poor, elderly and disabled people.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Governor's Press Office

A proposal that would make it a third-degree felony to intentionally implant a human embryo into a woman without her consent is one of 21 bills sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.

Emergency room sign
Flickr Creative Commons

The number of emergency room visits nationally between March 29 and April 25 decreased 42 percent compared to the previous year, but the number of visits for infectious-disease screenings or exposures increased four-fold, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration on Tuesday issued the moratorium on admissions at Grace Manor at Lake Morton.
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State regulators this week hit a Lakeland assisted-living facility with an admissions moratorium after the facility failed to take proper safeguards following the hospitalization of 33 of its residents because of COVID-19.

barbed wire prison fence
WMFE

Three Florida inmates died over the weekend from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, the state Department of Corrections reported on Monday.

The state may have to pay millions of dollars more in treatment costs for inmates infected with hepatitis C.
Florida Department of Corrections

A federal appeals court has agreed to move quickly in deciding a case about whether Florida should be required to provide expensive treatment to prison inmates who have been diagnosed with early stages of hepatitis C.

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons

As the state Supreme Court ponders a high-stakes challenge to a 2017 medical marijuana law, attorneys for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration have filed an additional brief disputing that the measure is an unconstitutional “special” law.

Disney World workers protested Florida's unemployment system from their homes across Orlando.
Unite Here / WMFE

Pointing to the constitutional separation of powers, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday refused to order the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to take steps to “fix” the state’s much-maligned unemployment compensation system to process and pay claims.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried
Ryan Dailey / WFSU

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried asserted Thursday the governor and state Cabinet members should have been jointly coordinating the response to the coronavirus pandemic, as a new report showed another 173,731 first-time unemployment claims were filed last week in Florida.

Sunland Center from the outside
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The results are in of more than 1,000 novel coronavirus tests at Sunland Center in Marianna, with 22 staff members and 16 residents testing positive at the facility for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, according to the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

barbed wire prison fence
WMFE

The number of state inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, surpassed 1,400 on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

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