Coronavirus

State revenue was off $878.1 million in April from an earlier estimate as tourism and hospitality-related industries, along with car sales, were grounded by the coronavirus, according to economists.

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.

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.

Child Immunizations Drop Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

10 hours ago
child receives a shot in the arm
iStock

The number of vaccinations administered to children during the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply decreased, leading to worries among pediatricians about public-health consequences if something isn’t done to reverse the trend.

Lee County officials are investing $57.5 million of federal CARES Act money to provide financial relief to local residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The LeeCares initiative aims to get federal relief funds into the hands of those who have been affected financially by business closures resulting from the pandemic.

"It's a glorious day here on the beach, isn't it?" Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis asked an applauding crowd at news conference on Tuesday.

He was one of several city and county officials that lined up on Fort Lauderdale Beach to clarify what's open, what's not, and what happens next as Broward County begins phased reopenings during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The mayors of Tampa Bay's two largest cities are reacting to state Republican leaders floating the possibility that this summer's Republican National Convention could be coming to Florida.

The coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close about two months before the end of the school year, stripping away many of the common high school rituals such as proms and graduation ceremonies. 

Some high school students even lost family members, like Elijah Seay, 18, who is graduating from Lennard High School in Ruskin.

The Florida Department of Health reported Tuesday that 52,255 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 509 cases since Monday.

There were 67 new infections reported in the Tampa Bay region during that time.

The toll the coronavirus is taking on all of us can be measured in different ways. Jobs that are lost. The money troubles that come with it. The isolation.

WUSF Public Media wanted to go beyond the headlines and hear from you. Or at least those who filled out a survey form we sent out a while back to see how you're doing in these unique times.

So on this edition of Florida Matters, we're going to hear from several of those people - in their own words, via "audio postcards."

Many dental offices in Florida donated personal protective equipment like masks to frontline medical care workers when state orders limited them to just emergency care during the coronavirus shutdown.

Now that they are starting to reopen, dentists are struggling to get needed PPE.

When the first of Florida’s theme parks reopen next week, Robert Niles predicts they will be taking a cautious approach towards welcoming visitors back.

“On the attractions themselves, that’s a managed environment. Once they enter the queue for an attraction, it’s relatively simple as a concept to keep people spaced apart,” Niles said. “It’s out there on the streets of the theme park where the challenge [arises].”

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force approved plans Wednesday for both Disney World and SeaWorld parks to reopen.

Over the past few months, cities have had to deal with tremendous challenges — fighting a pandemic, preserving essential services, protecting their own workers, coping with devastating budget cuts.

One thing local officials didn't have to worry about was traffic, as the pandemic emptied city streets.

But that's about to change.

The race to defeat the coronavirus can be viewed in two very distinct ways. One is based on international cooperation, with a vaccine treated as a "global public good." The other is competitive, a battle between nations that's being described as "vaccine nationalism."

Many are hoping for the former, but are seeing signs of the latter.

From late March into April, Timothy Regan had severe coughing fits several times a day that often left him out of breath. He had a periodic low-grade fever too.

Wondering if he had COVID-19, Regan called a nurse hotline run by Denver Health, a large public health system in his city. A nurse listened to him describe his symptoms and told him to immediately go to the hospital system's urgent care facility.

Preschool teacher Lainy Morse has been out of work for more than two months. But the Portland, Ore., child care center where she worked is considering a reopening. Morse says she is dreading the idea, as much as she loves the infants and toddlers for which she cared.

"They always have snotty faces. It's just one cold after another," she says. "It feels just like an epicenter for spreading disease. And it feels really scary to go back to that."

Youth sports and summer camps will be free to continue operations, after a Friday morning announcement from Gov. DeSantis lifting all restrictions on the activities effective immediately. 

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.

Butterflies and moths captivated Lawrence Reeves – so much so that he chased their ethereal flutters all the way to the Philippines, his mother’s homeland, as an entomology master’s student at the University of Florida.

Naval Air Station Key West is like a small city within the Keys — so it's had its own response to COVID-19. There are about 5,500 employees and dependents, with an airfield, a port and annexes all over the island.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday called a childhood illness tied to COVID-19 extremely rare, despite reports of at least eight confirmed cases in Florida.

Monday marked the second straight day there were no deaths reported from COVID-19 complications in the Tampa Bay region.

The Florida Department of Health reported Monday that 51,746 people have tested positive for the coronavirus; an increase of 879 cases since Sunday. There were 110 new infections reported in the Tampa Bay region.

As Florida universities face a mid-June deadline to solidify plans for safely reopening campuses in the fall, some school leaders continue to wrestle with questions.

Now that the school year is coming to a close, parents are trying to figure out what their children will do this summer.

Many camps are being canceled, and even if they aren't, some parents don't feel comfortable sending their children out during the coronavirus pandemic.

No door-to-door canvassing. Public gatherings are canceled. Motor vehicle offices are closed. Naturalization ceremonies are on hiatus.

Almost every place where Americans usually register to vote has been out of reach since March and it's led to a big drop in new registrations right before a presidential election that was expected to see record turnout.

Austin Beutner looked haggard, his face a curtain of worry lines. The superintendent of the second-largest school district in the nation sat at a desk last week delivering a video address to Los Angeles families. But he began with a stark message clearly meant for another audience:

Lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

President Trump is barring the entry of most non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil within the past 14 days, the White House announced on Sunday, citing concerns over Brazil's rapidly worsening coronavirus crisis.

"Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

The World Health Organization says it is temporarily halting its clinical trials that use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients over published concerns that the drug may do more harm than good.

The move comes after the medical journal The Lancet reported on Friday that patients getting hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates than other coronavirus patients.

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