Dr. Alex Martinez talks to Marion County School Board.
Marion County

Teachers and a doctor specializing in treating the elderly raised concerns with the Marion County School Board Tuesday over opening the schools in August.

The board approved a plan to open Aug. 10, even as the county’s COVID-19 cases have more than quadrupled since the beginning of June.

Alachua County Reveals Future COVID-19 Relief And Budget Plans

13 minutes ago
Alachua Board of County Commissioners

Alachua County will disburse $46.9 million in CARES Act funds for COVID-19 relief, and according to a new budget plan, property taxes in the county could soon be lowered, too.

During a board of county commissioners special meeting Tuesday, Alachua County Manager Michele Lieberman unveiled disbursement plans for the county’s COVID-19 relief funds and a tentative budget plan for the fiscal year 2021, which starts Oct. 1.

Jacksonville has been added to the list of cities that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has deemed “hotspot jurisdictions.”

As a result, federal temporary surge COVID-19 testing locations have opened in Jacksonville:

As several states start to reopen, fever checks have been widely used by workplaces, stores, airports, and restaurants to screen for COVID-19. But using thermometers to check people’s temperature isn’t a foolproof way to identify cases.

Since loss of smell is one of the earliest symptoms for many people, experts have raised the idea of using a smell test as part of the screenings.

Another nearly 10,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida.

According to the Florida Department of Health's Wednesday report, 223,783 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state - an increase of 9,989 positive tests since Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


The U.S. has reported more than 3 million coronavirus cases as of Wednesday morning, with all but a handful of states struggling to control outbreaks of COVID-19. One million of those cases have been confirmed over the past month — part of a wave of infection that began after many states started to reopen their economies in May.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Tuesday warned that the city might need to take additional action if the recent surge in coronavirus cases in Pinellas County doesn’t ease.

Federal Pandemic Loans Flow To Florida Health Providers

23 hours ago
a stethoscope rests on cash.

More than 4,600 health-care providers in Florida received at least $1.7 billion in interest-free federal loans meant to prevent massive job layoffs, a News Service of Florida review of data released by the federal government shows.

Gov. Ron DeSantis

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

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.


Long before the coronavirus pandemic, one of the worst epidemics in the U.S. was opioid abuse. 

Several Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia have joined in a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, accusing the Trump administration of trying to unlawfully divert pandemic relief funds from public schools to private schools.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Michigan, Maine, New Mexico and Wisconsin have also joined.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said he believes his countywide mandate is not government overreach or illegal. 

The reason the Florida Keys are wary of COVID-19 — and put up a checkpoint keeping visitors out for more than two months — has always been the same: the limited hospital capacity on the island chain. As the numbers of coronavirus cases rise, that capacity is becoming an increasing concern.

Plasma from the survivors of COVID-19 can be a life-saving therapy for those who are hospitalized due to coronavirus, but Sarasota doctors say supplies are critically low and donations are urgently needed.

“We are in desperate need of plasma," said Kirk Voelker, a critical care pulmonologist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The Florida Department of Health's Tuesday report shows 213,794 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state - an increase of 7,347 positive tests since Monday.

In the greater Tampa Bay region, the state reported 1,503 more people tested positive in the 24-hour period since the Monday report.

Governor Ron DeSantis slashed a billion dollars from the state budget. And as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, future cuts are likely. 

That's the focus of this week's Florida Matters. 

On Monday, Florida's Education Commissioner issued an emergency order for brick and mortar schools to reopen for the fall, with the full array of services schools provide. It said "school openings must be consistent with safety precautions as defined by the Florida Department of Health, local health officials and supportive of Floridians, young and adult, with underlying conditions that make them medically vulnerable."

The Hillsborough County superintendent of schools announced students and staff returning to public schools on Aug. 10th will be required to wear face masks.

More people are being tested for coronavirus in Florida as cases spike across the state. This is causing a logjam, not only in getting tested, but also in receiving results.

Pinellas County will open a new drive-through COVID-19 testing site Wednesday at the Duke Energy for the Arts Mahaffey Theater in St Petersburg.

People do not need to have symptoms to get tested.

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.

A growing number of governors and mayors are working to slow the spread of the coronavirus by requiring people to wear masks in public places.

Experts say these public health rules will reduce the risk of people getting sick. But some local police and sheriffs are refusing to enforce the rules.

"COVID-19 is not going away. In fact, it's getting worse," warned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, when he announced his state's mask mandate ahead of the July Fourth weekend.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


'Please Tell Me My Life Is Worth A LITTLE Of Your Discomfort,' Nurse Pleads

Jul 7, 2020
Nilu Patel, a certified registered nurse anesthetist
Nilu Patel

When an employee told a group of 20-somethings they needed face masks to enter his fast-food restaurant, one woman fired off a stream of expletives. “Isn’t this Orange County?” snapped a man in the group. “We don’t have to wear masks!”

jail bars in a hallway at a prison

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.

Walt Disney World
Max Pixel

Disney is moving ahead with plans to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on Saturday even as new coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida.

Disney indefinitely pushed back the reopening of Disneyland in California when the state delayed releasing guidelines for reopening theme parks in the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Joe Byrnes / WMFE

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he doesn’t think President Trump was trying to minimize the pandemic when he said 99 percent of cases are “totally harmless.”

The Florida governor addressed that issue during a press conference in The Villages on Monday.