Vanessa Henry

Vanessa Henry is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for spring 2020. 

She is currently a senior at USF, completing her dual degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Magazine Journalism and Religious Studies. To add more to her plate, she is also completing a minor in Astronomy and two certificates in Food and Film Studies. Somehow Vanessa is likely to graduate with honors.

During her undergraduate studies at USF Tampa, Vanessa has interned with the Center for Student Advocacy as an Academic Foundations Peer Leader, worked as an event planner for the Center for Student Involvement, and assisted with the social media and web producing of USF’s Florida Focus.

The U.S. Census Bureau is in need of more time to get the results of the 2020 count due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Bureau is asking Congress for an additional 120 days to deliver final numbers.

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary, and Steven Dillingham, U.S. Census Bureau Director, said in the statement that though the Bureau is still collecting data online, as well as via phone and mail, they have temporarily suspended field data collection.

Travel-related businesses, particularly those in Florida, have taken a hit from coronavirus and the safer-at-home policies put in place.

As a matter of fact, officials with the U.S. Travel Association say the impact is nine times greater than that of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Congressional leaders are now working with the USTA to expand relief efforts to help the embattled industry recover.

Hotels in Florida that typically would be packed for spring break and the promise of summer have become ghost towns during the coronavirus pandemic.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are taking a toll on how and where people are getting food. While supplies are sometimes taxed in some grocery stores, people without jobs and without an income still need to eat.

Throughout Tampa Bay, food banks and pantries are attempting to serve the community. Here are some of their stories:

Regional blood donation center OneBlood will begin collecting plasma from COVID-19 survivors as a possible treatment for future patients.

An experimental treatment option called “COVID-19 convalescent plasma” has been approved by the FDA to be used on an emergency basis.

As Hillsborough County is under a “safer at home” order, those without a home are at risk.

To limit the spread of coronavirus, the city of Tampa has partnered with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg to create a temporary outdoor shelter for the homeless.

The shelter, called "Hillsborough Hope," is located on vacant land owned by Catholic Charities.

As COVID-19 continued to spread, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting any unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency medical procedures in Florida.

But dentists, like other medical professionals, are still able to see patients in critical condition at this time.

Despite one Tampa Bay area politicians' calls for it to shut down for 30 days due to the danger of the oronavirus, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa remains open.

In addition to such things as travel bans, sports being shut down, and school closures, coronavirus has led Governor DeSantis to place a 30-day ban on all visitations for nursing homes throughout Florida.

But there are some things people can do to remain in touch with loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

After a meeting in Miami with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Monday, Senator Rick Scott has decided to self-quarantine.

He was alerted by the Brazilian Embassy Thursday that Bolsonaro's communications director had tested positive for coronavirus.

With 18 cases confirmed in Florida, COVID-19 is beginning to impact major events statewide. Miami cancelled the Ultra Music Festival in response and other large gatherings are also being scrapped.

After two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Hillsborough and Manatee counties, governmental agencies, universities, and private companies are stepping up their response.