Coronavirus

President Trump on Thursday defended his decision to mislead the public about the deadliness of the coronavirus as documented in Bob Woodward's new book, declining to call his misstatements about the virus and its spread a "lie" and saying he needed to show "strength" in the face of the crisis.

"I want to show a level of confidence, and I want to show strength as a leader, and I want to show our country is going to be fine one way or another," Trump said at a news conference.

This is World Suicide Prevention Day - a day to remember those lost to suicide and raise awareness of resources available to Floridians who may need support.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Pinellas County health workers are making it easier for residents in underserved neighborhoods to get tested for COVID-19. They're operating popup testing sites in areas like the North Greenwood section of Clearwater and South St. Petersburg.

Teen and youth anxiety and depression are getting worse since COVID lockdowns began in March, early studies suggest, and many experts say they fear a corresponding increase in youth suicide.

At the end of June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed Americans on their mental health. They found symptoms of anxiety and depression were up sharply across the board between March and June, compared with the same time the previous year. And young people seemed to be the hardest-hit of any group.

Alachua Opts Against Registration System For Gatherings

Sep 10, 2020
online meeting matrix
Alachua County Commission

House party hosts won’t have to register their gatherings with Alachua County — at least not yet.

University of Florida leaders concerned about further coronavirus spread among students who have returned to Gainesville had asked county officials to come up with a system for registering indoor parties. The system could have helped with contact tracing, county officials believed.

teacher in mask speaks
Pinellas County Schools

At a Pinellas County School Board meeting Tuesday, teachers voiced frustration about having to instruct in-person and online students at the same time, as the district tries to balance safety with educational needs while the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., were on edge as early as March, when patients with COVID-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised hospitals to isolate COVID-19 patients to limit staff's exposure and help conserve high-level personal protective equipment that's been in short supply.

Florida Department of Health

For the first time in three weeks, the state recorded more than 200 deaths from COVID-19 related complications.

The Florida Department of Health added the deaths of 202 people since Tuesday's report, bringing the total to 12,269. It's the highest single-day toll since Aug. 18.

Thirty-eight deaths were recorded in the greater Tampa Bay region, the most in one day since Aug. 25. Fifteen were reported in Pinellas County, 11 in Polk County.

The deaths were reported Wednesday, but may have occurred in the days or weeks prior.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is defending himself after interviews from a new book by legendary reporter Bob Woodward reveal that Trump acknowledged the deadliness of the coronavirus in early February and admitted in March to playing down its severity.

BayCare Hospitals To Allow Visitors Once Again

Sep 9, 2020

For the first time in nearly five months, BayCare Health System is going to allow visitors - on a limited basis - at its hospitals.

Starting Wednesday, most inpatients will be allowed one visitor a day between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

BayCare closed visitation at its 15 hospitals in March to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s sticking with his projection that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine may be ready in early 2021. He says it’s possible it could be sooner, but “unlikely.”

The New York Times lists Tallahassee as the 2nd metro area where coronavirus cases are rising the fastest, on a population-adjusted basis. Leon County has 7,943 COVID-19 infections.

Teen vaping was already risky, but with COVID-19, it’s even more dangerous.

When people use e-cigarettes, they exhale vapor into the air. If they have COVID-19, those clouds of vapor will be laden with the virus. Young people often also share vape pens, which could spread the coronavirus, as well.

Olympia High School building
WMFE

The closure of an Orlando-area high school this week due to positive coronavirus cases has been traced back to a birthday party late last month.

Florida Reports 65 Cases Of Rare Pediatric Condition, MIS-C

Sep 9, 2020
child hand being held by adult hand in hospital setting
CDC.gov

Data released by the state health department Tuesday indicate that 65 pediatric patients in Florida have been diagnosed with a rare but serious condition that develops in some children who have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Unemployed Floridians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will soon be receiving additional federal benefits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that eligible residents will receive an additional $300 a week through the Federal Lost Wages Program authorized by President Donald Trump.

The Sarasota Institute

Visions of the future used to be flying cars, hovercrafts, robots easing our lives by doing our every chore. But like many things, the future isn't what it used to be. Now, many of us are stuck at home, worrying if our fates will change just by going outside our bubbles and talking to someone.

Our lives have turned upside down. The way we work, the amount of time we spend at home, how our children are schooled. But how much of this will become permanent?

On this week's Florida Matters, WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with David Houle. He's a futurist and founder and managing director of The Sarasota Institute, which bills itself as a "21st century think tank."

Florida Department of Health

The daily positive test rate for new coronavirus cases in Florida has remained below five percent for three days in a row, according to state health officials who also announced Tuesday the smallest number of daily cases in a 24-hour period since June.

In America's four largest cities, at least half of people say they have experienced the loss of a job or a reduction in wages or work hours in their household since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. That's the finding of a new poll published Wednesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca has announced that it is pausing its COVID-19 vaccine trial because of a "potentially unexplained illness" in one of the trial volunteers.

The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca. It's being studied in thousands of patients in the United States and the United Kingdom. The illness apparently occurred in a U.K. volunteer.

Nine drug companies pledged Tuesday that they will not submit vaccine candidates for FDA review until their safety and efficacy is shown in large clinical trials. The move is intended to bolster public confidence amid the rush to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available, and counter fears of political pressure to have a vaccine before the November presidential election.

Orlando-Area High School To Close Campus For 2 Weeks

Sep 8, 2020
Olympia High School building
Orange County School Board

The Orange County school distruct is closing the Olympia High School campus for two weeks because of a cluster of coronavirus cases. The district said 922 face-to-face students will be shifted to online classes from Tuesday through Sept. 18.

The school district said 156 students and staff at the Orlando-area school have had direct contact with six individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health said the cases are a result of community spread but not spread at the school.

file image of drive thru testing for covid
Manatee County

Less than two months after state-run COVID testing sites were overwhelmed with demand amid a surge in new infections, Florida officials are turning to a single private vendor to reduce operating costs for the sites, beginning with a Broward County site at the busiest intersection in Pembroke Pines.

Mayor Kerner speaking at news conference
Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County on Tuesday will become the 65th of the state’s 67 counties to reach Gov. Ron DeSantis’ second phase of economic reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Palm Beach County’s staggered reopening plan includes approval from the governor for up to a one-week delay, from Sept. 14 to Sept. 21, in reopening public school campuses, an idea that must still go before the school board, county Mayor Dave Kerner said at a Friday afternoon news conference.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood is extending the furloughs of 1,527 employees, many of whom have been sidelined for much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India's recorded coronavirus case total has surpassed that of Brazil, making India the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States.

India overtook Brazil on Monday after registering 90,802 fresh cases — the highest single-day increase any country has recorded so far during the pandemic. India's total cases are now more than 4.2 million.

Six months into schools' pandemic-driven experiment in distance learning, much has been said (and debated) about whether children are learning. But the more urgent question, for the more than 30 million kids who depend on U.S. schools for free or reduced-price meals, is this:

Are they eating?

The answer, based on recent data and interviews with school nutrition leaders and anti-hunger advocates across the country, is alarming.

COVID-19 Forces Changes In Health Facility Inspections

Sep 8, 2020
Hush Naidoo / Unsplash

How do you inspect a nursing home or a hospital in the middle of a pandemic, or discipline a physician or a nurse?

As COVID-19 has spread, the organizations and regulators responsible for ensuring the safety of health-care facilities and providers have run into a conundrum when travel and face-to-face encounters have been nixed.

Florida A&M University will place students who are exposed to the coronavirus in campus apartments but the school is mum about identifying which ones students will be placed in. Since the start of August. 14 students and nearly 20 staff members have tested positive for Covid-19. Two students have already been moved and placed in quarantine.

For most of her 34 years, Stephanie Parker didn't recognize she had an eating disorder.

At age 6, she recalls, she stopped eating and drinking at school — behavior that won her mother's praise. "It could have started sooner; I just don't have the memory," says Parker. In middle school, she ate abnormally large quantities, then starved herself again in the years after.

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