Coronavirus

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry gave his reasoning for a countywide mask mandate Wednesday afternoon. 

Collier Beach Access Will Be Restricted

Jul 2, 2020

With COVID-19 cases spiking in the area, Collier County will restrict beach access and parking starting Friday.

Collier beaches will be closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Naples Daily News reports. This includes beach access points at Vanderbilt Beach, Barefoot Beach, Seagate, Clam Pass Park, Tigertail Beach, South Marco Beach and North Gulfshore Drive.

The cities of Naples and Marco Island have taken similar measures.

In a grim accounting of the coronavirus's progress in the United States, another milestone was reached Wednesday: more than 50,000 new cases reported in a single day.

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine's Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the virus worldwide, says the total number of cases reported in the U.S. stands at 2,686,480, an increase of 50,700 over Tuesday's figure. U.S. deaths attributed to the coronavirus stand at 128,062.

House members unanimously passed an extension of the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, aimed at helping small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The voice vote came a day after the Senate approved the measure.

The PPP had expired Tuesday at midnight. If President Trump signs the extension, the program will operate through Aug. 8.

The surge in COVID-19 infections throughout Alabama is forcing Gov. Kay Ivey to rethink plans to reopen the state.

For the last seven days, Alabama has logged an average of nearly 1,000 new daily coronavirus cases, with hospitalizations at their highest level since the pandemic began.

Pinellas County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday not to close beaches for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

According to the Florida Department of Health's Wednesday report, 158,997 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state - an increase of 6,563 positive tests since Tuesday, and the eighth straight day the number of new cases surpassed 5,000.

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Tampa on Thursday to discuss the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While conceding missteps in the federal response to the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday it is not too late to avoid the dire picture he outlined in congressional testimony of 100,000 coronavirus cases a day.

Brevard County Decides Against Mask Mandate

Jul 1, 2020
Commission Chair Bryan Lober
Brevard County

Brevard County commissioners have decided not to impose a mask mandate to protect residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As cases of the coronavirus surge across Florida, some suggest herd immunity could be a solution.    

It's the idea of fighting a disease by making a majority of the population immune, and it is often cited as the reason why vaccines are so effective in controlling deadly diseases like polio and the measles. 

Orlando Airport Mandates Additional PPE For TSA Officers

Jul 1, 2020
Jet taking off
WMFE

TSA officers will be required to wear additional personal protection equipment at Orlando International Airport checkpoints starting Wednesday.

wmfe screen grab
WMFE

Florida’s rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases is derailing plans for some businesses to reopen.

The Pasco County School District has extended the deadline for people to weigh in on fall options for returning students through Wednesday, July 8.

The original deadline was July 1, but the district noted that an increase in coronavirus cases could cause parents and students to change their minds about their choices.

According to the Florida Department of Health's daily report, the Tampa Bay area recorded its highest daily increase in deaths Tuesday.

The state's report noted 58 deaths in the 24 hour reporting period, bringing the statewide total to 3,505.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is once again asking people to comply with the city’s mask ordinance.

During a Facebook Live video Tuesday, Kriseman said officials have visited more than a thousand businesses since last week and issued dozens of violations to businesses that have not required their employees to wear masks.

Former Vice President Joe Biden took direct aim at President Trump on Tuesday, saying that Trump, who once called himself a "wartime president" taking on the coronavirus pandemic, seems to have now "surrendered."

"Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together in the face of this ... 'invisible enemy'? What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered," Biden said in prepared remarks.

A strange thing happened this spring.

As co-workers began to get sick, essential worker Yudelka LaVigna took an unpaid leave of absence. When she got her unemployment benefits, she realized something unheard of: She was making more money not working.

"That just kind of opens your eyes," says LaVigna, who's now back at her New York call center job for essential services.

Duval County students returning to the classroom this fall will sit behind protective barriers meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Kathy Burgos has a dozen blue bags hanging from her arm as she walks the hot streets of Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood. She’s on a march with other Miami-Dade County employees, helping bring masks, gloves and education to one of the state’s hotspots for COVID-19 cases.

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said Tuesday that the county has just brought on board an additional 150 people to trace contacts of people who have coronavirus — almost doubling the number of people available to help combat the spread of the virus.

With the 150 people he said were “onboarded” Monday by the Broward County unit of the state Department of Public Health, Holness said there is a workforce of 340 involved in the effort.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Two-point-six million people in this country have now been infected with COVID-19 according to Johns Hopkins University. And even as new cases soar, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress today that things could get much worse.

On Florida Matters this week, we're taking a look at life behind the front lines - the front lines of the war on the coronavirus.

Many first responders - doctors, nurses and people just willing to lend a hand - have forsaken the relative comfort of their own hometowns and ventured into the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can't predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, "it's going to be very disturbing."

Health Official In Orange Co: Mask Mandate May Be Making An Impact

Jun 30, 2020
Dr. Raul Pino
Orange TV

The Florida Department of Health’s health officer for Orange County, Dr. Raul Pino, says the county’s mask mandate may be having an impact on the spread of coronavirus. 

Florida A&M Boosts Testing For Coronavirus

Jun 30, 2020
Leon.FloridaHealth.gov

Florida A&M University has gotten approval to ramp up testing at its COVID-19 testing site. This comes after several consecutive days of reaching maximum capacity.

As parents weigh the risks of sending kids back to school against the need to get back to work, county school districts and state universities have been putting together plans of the fall semester. Recently, Florida Gulf Coast University submitted its plan for a flexible re-opening to the state board of governors, which approved the plan. We talk with Dr. Mike Martin, President of FGCU, about what that plan entails, how flexible it is, and how the university is working to keep people safe—not only on campus, but in the community it calls home.

Florida hit a new record for coronavirus cases Friday. Officials announced more than 9,000 new confirmed cases in the state. But experts say that number is likely on the low side, in part because not all positive test results are listed in the Department of Health’s total for each day.

Starting Monday, June 29 at 5 p.m., a mask mandate in Duval County goes into effect. At all indoor and public locations where social distancing isn’t possible, a mask will be required. 

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