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.


Miami-Dade County is again closing its restaurants to indoor dining and other indoor venues just weeks after they reopened because a spike in coronavirus cases.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Monday the closures will take effect Wednesday.

A new United Nations report warns that more diseases that pass from animals to humans, such as COVID-19, are likely to emerge as habitats are ravaged by wildlife exploitation, unsustainable farming practices and climate change.

According to the Florida Department of Health's Monday report, almost half of the statewide deaths were in the Tampa Bay area.

Of the 22 deaths in the region, eight were in Hillsborough County and nine were in Manatee County; daily high numbers for each county since the pandemic began.

Florida Orders Public Schools To Reopen 5 Days A Week In August

Jul 7, 2020

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Monday ordered public schools to reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to students and families.

Businesses in Hillsborough County that fail to enforce rules for customers to wear masks indoors will no longer face criminal penalties.

This story was updated on July 7 at 1:54 p.m. to include WHO's response to the letter.

By now, it's common knowledge that the coronavirus can be spread by being in close contact with someone who's infected and then breathing in their respiratory droplets. Or by touching a contaminated surface and rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth.

As the coronavirus has spread to communities across the U.S., among its effects has been physical upheaval. People have moved from one place to another, or welcomed new members into their households, because of either the virus or its economic impacts.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in face mask

The White House is again rejecting calls for a national mask-wearing mandate.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning that the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter.