Florida Department of Health

Florida health officials reported 1,838 new coronavirus cases since Sunday, the lowest reported total for a 24 hour period since June.

The new cases bring Florida’s overall total to 648,269.

Why Aging Black Americans Face Compounded COVID Risk

Sep 7, 2020
Mardell Reed walking with mask on
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

Old. Chronically ill. Black.

People who fit this description are more likely to die from COVID-19 than any other group in the country.

They are perishing quietly, out of sight, in homes and apartment buildings, senior housing complexes, nursing homes and hospitals, disproportionately poor, frail and ill, after enduring a lifetime of racism and its attendant adverse health effects.

Several vaccines are currently in large-scale studies to see if they can prevent COVID-19, and more are on the way.

The state of Florida continues to report a downward trend in the number people hospitalized due to coronavirus-related illnesses while showing a sharp decline in the number of positive cases since its Saturday report.

The Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 2,564 more people tested positive since Saturday's report, bringing the statewide total to 646,431.

That's a decline of 1,092 cases from the previous 24 hours, when 3,656 people tested positive. It's the lowest number of daily cases since Wednesday, when the state reported 2,402 positive tests.

A new study launched with the help of University of Florida researchers suggests that COVID-19 is unlikely to trigger or worsen Type 1 diabetes, according to a news release from the university’s medical school.

Researchers at the UF Diabetes Institute and other centers looked to see if a protein thought to be the coronavirus entry into the body was present in insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Patients who already have diabetes have been seen as more at risk for serious illness or death from coronavirus infections.

Florida Department of Health

The number of hospitalizations attributed to the coronavirus pandemic continued to decline across Florida, although the state reported its second largest jump in positive cases in the last eight days.

Dr. Scott Atlas has literally written the book on magnetic resonance imaging. He has also co-authored numerous scientific studies on the economics of medical imaging technology.

Seema Verma stands for photo
Stephanie Colombini / Health News Florida

The federal government is continuing to deploy rapid coronavirus testing machines to nursing homes around the country.

But providers say they're left to secure their own test kits after the initial supply runs out, which is posing problems.

A day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they would play their first two games in Raymond James Stadium without spectators, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the team to allow fans to attend.

“If the Bucs had fans, I would try to go to the first home game. I would,” DeSantis said during a Thursday roundtable in St. Petersburg about bars and breweries. “I am not going to go if other fans are not allowed.”

K-12 schools across the state began sending people home to self-isolate within days of classes starting. Some districts are releasing the names of schools where close contact with a confirmed positive case has occurred, while others are not disclosing this information.

On Tuesday, Florida recorded a jump in new COVID-19 cases after the lab Quest Diagnostics uploaded tens of thousands of test results, some dating all the way back to April. Florida's state agencies then cut ties with Quest almost immediately.

Elder hands clasped
Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s long-term care industry and a top state regulator are befuddled by what appears to be competing state and federal regulatory requirements for conducting coronavirus tests of visitors and staff at long-term care facilities.

The issue involves whether a rule published by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conflicts with three state emergency rules and a new executive order lifting a moratorium on visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Hot dogs, cold sandwiches and Hot Pockets admittedly aren’t fancy fare.

But low-budget, hassle-free cuisine might be a financial godsend for desperate bar owners who’ve been sidelined for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tavern owners throughout the state hurriedly are rehabbing behind-the-counter operations, adding triple sinks, carving out prep areas and signing up for food-handling training so they can get the go-ahead from state regulators to turn the lights back on.

According to Thursday’s report from the Florida Department of Health, another 3,571 people tested positive for the coronavirus since Wednesday’s report; bringing the statewide total to 637,013.

Thursday’s report shows 469 new positive tests in the greater Tampa Bay region.

Of 65,205 tests returned to the state Wednesday, 6.23 % of those tested for the first time were positive.

Governor Ron DeSantis talked with local brewery owners Thursday in St. Petersburg about their business struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic, and their prospects for fully reopening.

"We started out down 70 to 75 percent in the middle of all of this. We are down less than half now," said Mike Harting, who runs Three Daughters Brewing.

"That confidence is definitely coming back in the consumer," he said.

Hopefully, summer won't end the way it began. Memorial Day celebrations helped set off a wave of coronavirus infections across much of the South and West. Gatherings around the Fourth of July seemed to keep those hot spots aflame.

Now Labor Day arrives as those regions are cooling off from COVID-19, and public health experts are calling on Americans to stay vigilant while celebrating the holiday weekend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to have a plan in place to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as late October — but that doesn't mean an effective treatment will be ready quite so soon.

In separate interviews Thursday with NPR, the chief scientific adviser to the Trump administration's vaccine development effort and the former director of the CDC's office of public health preparedness cautioned that an effective vaccine is likely still months away.

With the annual flu season about to start, it's still unclear exactly how influenza virus will interact with the coronavirus if a person has both viruses.

Just a day after the school district started the school year with distance learning, Palm Beach County commissioners approved their step-by-step approach to enter phase two of the state's economic reopening plan.

Commissioners voted 4-2 Tuesday to send a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis for approval.

Cuba has reported about 4,000 COVID-19 cases and fewer than a hundred deaths. It’s considered one of the western hemisphere’s pandemic success stories.

But it hasn’t been able to subdue the novel coronavirus where it counted most: Havana, where cases suddenly surged last month thanks to what officials say was too many nighttime parties in private houses and increasingly lax attitudes in the capital.

On this Wednesday, Sept. 2, episode of Sundial:

Joan Hipler has been using Facetime to communicate with her mother every day. Hipler is a registered nurse and she used to visit her mother at the Five Star Premier Residences of Hollywood before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Monday night's extension of Florida's rent moratorium signaled another moment of relief for renters while landlords will once again be halted from evicting tenants. For the past five months, Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued late extensions for the moratorium within hours of it expiring.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked states to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October, according to a series of planning documents sent to public health officials last week.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the documents in an email to NPR on Wednesday. The documents were first published by The New York Times.

Florida Department of Health

On the day after a spike in coronavirus levels due to an influx of previously uncounted positive tests from Quest Diagnostics, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 returned to the downward trend set in previous days.

Three new studies strongly support using inexpensive and widely available drugs to treat people who are seriously ill with COVID-19. The drugs are steroids, and the research published Wednesday confirms they are proving to be the most effective treatment found to date.

Nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a study published Wednesday. That's nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And those with a lower income, smaller savings and people severely affected by the pandemic — either through a job loss, for example, or by the death of a loved one — are more likely to be bearing the burden of these symptoms.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has again extended a moratorium against residential evictions and foreclosures.

He did so Monday night, just hours before a previous extension was to expire, potentially giving another reprieve to scores of financially struggling Floridians who've lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The extension means residents struggling with rents and mortgages cannot be forced out of their homes until the end of the month.

Jeriden Villegas

For Florida businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s a bit of good news: Workers’ compensation insurance costs could go down in 2021.

State insurance regulators have received a rate filing that would reduce premiums next year in the workers’ compensation system by an average of 5.7 percent, which would be the fourth straight year of premium decreases, according to information released Tuesday.

Health Officials Worry Nation’s Not Ready For COVID-19 Vaccine

Sep 2, 2020
Vials of vaccine
Associated Press

Millions of Americans are counting on a COVID-19 vaccine to curb the global pandemic and return life to normal.

While one or more options could be available toward the end of this year or early next, the path to delivering vaccines to 330 million people remains unclear for the local health officials expected to carry out the work.