Stephanie Colombini

HEALTH NEWS FLORIDA REPORTER

.05pt">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.

.05pt">Stephanie was born and raised just outside New York City. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got her start in radio at NPR member station WFUV in 2012. In addition to reporting and anchoring, Stephanie helped launch the news department’s first podcast series, Issues Tank.

.05pt">Prior to joining the WUSF family, Stephanie spent a year reporting for CBS Radio’s flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880 in Manhattan. Her assignments included breaking news stories such as the 2016 bombings in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and Seaside Park, NJ and political campaigns. As part of her job there, she was forced to – and survived – a night of reporting on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

.05pt">Her work in feature reporting and podcast production has earned her awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the Alliance for Women in Media.

.05pt">While off-the-clock, you might catch Stephanie at a rock concert, on a fishing boat or anywhere that serves delicious food.


After nearly five months, families are demanding the state allow some form of in-person visitation in Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But their push comes as the state continues to be a coronavirus hotspot, with long-term care residents most at-risk. Officials are looking for a solution.


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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Health News Florida has learned that Florida has a new Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a position that has been vacant for almost a year.


Florida nursing homes will receive rapid coronavirus testing machines from the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services announced earlier this month it will send machines to every skilled nursing facility in the country.


Service members living with HIV will be in court in early August. They’re suing the military for discrimination over a longstanding policy that prohibits them from deploying or commissioning as officers.


As Florida’s coronavirus cases break national records, health workers say they’re feeling the strain. While most hospitals still have room to take in more patients, some doctors and nurses say they're being pushed to their limits.


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

Today we meet Carlos Perez, 42, of Tampa. He's a former health worker who has lupus, an autoimmune disease that makes him especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

BayCare Health System is cutting back on non-emergency surgeries in its hosptials in Pinellas and Pasco counties to ensure there is capacity for a growing number of severely-ill COVID-19 patients.

The Florida Department of Health announced another 9,488 COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 178,594.

Florida set a new milestone in the number of positive coronavirus cases reported in a 24-hour period.

The Florida Department of Health reported Thursday that 10,109 people tested positive for the coronavirus in a 24-hour period, eclipsing the previous high of 9,585 reported on June 27.

As coronavirus cases in Florida have surged, so has the demand for testing and Tampa Bay area health officials are struggling to keep up.


Requirements to wear face masks in Hillsborough County businesses and public spaces will continue for another week, but there are some adjustments.

Some doctors and nurses with the U.S. Air Force Reserves are warning the public not to underestimate the continued threat posed by the coronavirus. They were among thousands of military personnel who deployed to New York City during the height of its COVID-19 pandemic.


Like many long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March. The separation has been hard on veterans and their families.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has gone up in Florida in the past week, with the state and Tampa Bay area reporting some of their highest figures since the pandemic began. This comes a month after the state began reopening for business and recreation.

But data on new cases alone doesn't paint a complete picture about coronavirus in Florida.

The Universal Orlando Resort theme parks are reopening today after being closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers and elected officials are demanding answers from the state amid reports that it fired a scientist who was managing Florida's COVID-19 dashboard for "refusing to manipulate data."

Floridians wondering if they had COVID-19 recently and just didn't know it have a new way to find out. OneBlood is now testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibodies.


Planes from MacDill Air Force Base will fly over a dozen Tampa Bay area hospitals on Friday to pay tribute to health care workers fighting the spread of COVID-19.


Florida would get billions of dollars for coronavirus relief through the latest federal aid package proposed by the House, known as the "HEROES Act."


Public health experts say expanded coronavirus testing is critical to safely reopen the economy and prevent a second wave of infections. Parts of Florida like Hillsborough County are offering free testing to everyone.

Health News Florida's Stephanie Colombini recently got tested at one of the county's drive-thru sites, even though she had no symptoms. She shares her experience.

  

Diners are returning to Tampa Bay area restaurants for sit-down service now that the state is letting them reopen with limited capacity.


Disruptions to everyday life caused by the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are seeking help virtually.


State officials are blocking Florida medical examiners from releasing their own list of coronavirus deaths, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

An investigation by the Times previously reported the medical examiners' death count was at one point 10 percent higher than the official number released by the state.

The Tampa veterans’ hospital is joining several hospitals in Florida in a national study looking at whether blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can be used to treat patients with the disease.

State and local officials are trying to get the word out to the public that anyone who wants a coronavirus test can get one now.

They have lifted restrictions on symptoms and travel history that were previously in place to ensure supplies got prioritized for those most in-need.


Nearly 30 percent of coronavirus deaths in Florida are linked to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Residents of these facilities are especially vulnerable to get COVID-19, as are the staff taking care of them.

State officials are meeting to decide when to re-open Florida as the number of new coronavirus cases starts to go down. But public health experts say doing so too soon could be dangerous.

Hillsborough and Pinellas County residents will be able to view areas where people are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 with a new online program from the University of South Florida.


The transition from classroom to virtual learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for many student veterans, and the worries may not end with the spring semester.


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