Coronavirus

The Trump administration is ordering a halt on evictions nationwide through December for people who have lost work during the pandemic and don't have other good housing options.

The new eviction ban is being enacted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, which the agency says in its order "presents a historic threat to public health."

classroom scene with empty desks and some desks with students
iStock

Public health experts have warned that coronavirus cases are likely to show up in schools as they reopen. And while some Florida school districts are reporting COVID-19 cases, others are not.

WUSF is compiling reports that come in from official sources, and what they are sharing with student families and school staff when available.

Some school districts, universities, and colleges are making information about cases on their campuses available on their websites. You can find them here:

After shutting down in the spring, America's empty gyms are beckoning a cautious public back for a workout. To reassure wary customers, owners have put in place — and now advertise — a variety of coronavirus control measures. At the same time, the fitness industry is also trying to rehabilitate itself by pushing back against what it sees as a misleading narrative that gyms have no place during a pandemic.

diame mcmillen makes heart sign with hand toward her mom
Diane McMillen

Some families have been able to see their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities face-to-face for the first time in months, now that the state has approved recommendations to resume visitation.

Some long-term care facilities in Florida will be able to open their doors for visitors as soon as Wednesday, September 2, in Florida. 

Florida Department of Health

Another 7,569 new coronavirus cases were reported in Florida on Tuesday, but more than half were among nearly 75,000 results from April turned in late by Quest Diagnostics, the state Department of Health said.

The state then announced it was severing ties with Quest Diagnostics due to its failure to follow Florida law in reporting results in a timely manner.

Front of quest building
Quest Diagnostics

The state is severing ties with Quest Diagnostics after the company did not timely report to the Florida Department of Health nearly 75,000 COVID-19 test results from as far back as April, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration announced Tuesday.

Updated 2:50 p.m. ET Wednesday

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will no longer pay for some safety measures related to COVID-19 that it had previously covered.

Keith Turi, FEMA assistant administrator for recovery, announced the changes during a call Tuesday with state and tribal emergency managers, many of whom expressed concerns about the new policy.

DeSantis, Rivkees Tell Sick Teachers And Students To Stay Home

Sep 1, 2020
Austin Pacheco

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees on Monday said to reduce the risk of new coronavirus cases, teachers and students should stay home if they feel sick.

“Fever, cough, shortness of breath, change in smell, change in taste, sore throat, if you feel sick at all. Please don’t go to school. Contact your health care provider and get tested,” he said.

desantis speaks at podium with UF Health background
The Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis expects people to be better behaved in preventing the spread of the coronavirus during the Labor Day weekend than they were on Memorial Day.

On Father’s Day this past June, Davonne Irion’s dad, John Marsh, was admitted to a hospital from his nursing home in St. Petersburg.

Irion, who lives in Clearwater, called the hospital to get his diagnosis. The woman who took her call asked her to wait a moment.

"It seemed like forever," Irion recalled. "She came back on the phone and said your father's tested positive."

Her father had tested positive for COVID-19.

Scott Atlas speaking
The Florida Channel

With students returning to classrooms throughout most of the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and an adviser to President Donald Trump on Monday tried to bolster support for offering in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

lab worker with test tubes
iStock

A new partnership that provides free COVID-19 testing to Hillsborough County Public School staff could leave out some vulnerable employees.

More than 600,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida and nearly 40,000 have been hospitalized.

Some cases are worse than others, but all are important as we try to learn more about how this virus affects people.

Are you among the hundreds of thousands who survived COVID-19? If so, we'd like to hear your story.

Fill out our survey and if you're willing, one of our reporters may contact you for an upcoming story.

Florida Department of Health

According to Monday’s report from the Florida Department of Health, another 1,885 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state in the 24-hour period since Sunday’s report, bringing the statewide total to 623,471.

In early August, José came home to the Chicago apartment he shares with his wife and five children. He'd just spent three months in the hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

"We were all so happy," says his daughter Alondra, describing that day. "Everybody in the hospital was like, he was about to die. There was no more hope for him. ... So now we're like, 'Thank God, he's still here with us.' "

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

Fewer than eight months ago, the U.S. had yet to experience its first confirmed case of a deadly disease that was sweeping through China and threatening to go global. Today, more than 6 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and some 183,000 have died from it, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Med Students 'Feel Very Behind' Because Of COVID-Induced Training Disruptions

Aug 31, 2020
woman medical student typing into laptop
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

COVID-19 is disrupting just about every student’s 2020 education, but medical students have it particularly hard right now.

“It’s a nightmare scenario for the class of 2021,” said Jake Berg, a fourth-year student at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville. In March, students were abruptly pulled out of hospitals and medical offices, where they normally work with professionals to learn about treating patients. Over the space of less than two weeks, he said, medical students in “pretty much the entire country” transitioned from seeing patients in person to learning online.

As K-12 students across the state return to the classroom, immunocompromised teachers are relying on their school district’s mandated safety precautions, such as social distancing, mask-wearing, hand-washing and regular deep cleaning, to protect themselves from serious illness.

At one Bay County school, a group of teachers is taking extra steps to reduce their colleague’s exposure to the virus.

For Kids With Special Needs, Online Schooling Divides Haves And Have-Nots

Aug 31, 2020
teacher showing book to student and mom in masks
Anna Almendrala / Kaiser Health News

It’s Tuesday morning in Alhambra, California, and teacher Tamya Daly has her online class playing an alphabet game. The students are writing quickly and intently, with occasional whoops of excitement, on the little whiteboards she dropped off at their homes the day before along with coloring books, markers, Silly Putty and other learning props — all of which she created or paid for with her own money.

The number of cases of the coronavirus has now passed 25 million worldwide.

The milestone happened Sunday, fueled by a surge of more than 78,000 cases in India on Saturday. The spread of the virus in India has grown in recent weeks, with daily cases there now outpacing both the United States and Brazil, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University.

In all, India has now registered more than 3.5 million cases and more than 63,000 deaths. Global deaths now total more than 843,000.

Nearly 500 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Florida have tested positive for COVID-19, the latest report released by state officials shows. Another 47 clients have died.

Many COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims Rejected

Aug 31, 2020
hospital worker with medical mask on
S.J. Objio / Unsplash

Thousands of Florida workers, including people on the front lines battling the coronavirus pandemic, say they have gotten infected with COVID-19.

But state numbers show that insurers have refused to pay nearly half of the workers’ compensation insurance claims filed by first responders, health care professionals and other workers.

Academic institutions across the country are grappling with how to keep campuses open while keeping students and faculty safe during the pandemic.

At Florida Gulf Coast University, reports of off-campus parties have already put the future of the fall semester in jeopardy.

At FGCU, faculty members like Lutgert College of Business professor Michael Zahaby are taking the responsibility of trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 seriously.

Florida teachers won in court this week even as more school districts return to the classroom. A judge ruled the state order to reopen brick-and-mortar schools by Aug. 31 or lose funding is unconstitutional.

The Florida Education Association filed a lawsuit after the state ordered teachers back to class five days a week, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The state says it’ll appeal the ruling. Despite the ruling, many public schools in Florida remain open for in-person instruction, and many more will open in the coming weeks.

According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Principal Paul Hockenbury was tested for the coronavirus on Aug. 12. While he awaited test results, he continued going to work.

Students were not yet in school, but teachers and staff were on site for training.

Hockenbury notified the school community of his positive test result on August 16 in an internal school newsletter update, obtained by the Herald-Tribune.

Kinnan school staff were then notified of a confirmed case on campus. Exposed employees were sent home to isolate for 14 days.

Florida Department of Health

The numbers reported Sunday by the Florida Department of Health brings the total death toll statewide since the pandemic began to 11,263.

Pixabay

In a partial win for Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, a Tallahassee-based appeals court on Friday put on hold a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that said a state mandate for schools to reopen this month amid the coronavirus is unconstitutional.

DeSantis and Corcoran have been locked in a legal slugfest with teachers unions over the education commissioner’s July 6 emergency order requiring schools to reopen five days a week in August or risk losing state funding.

Five Takeaways On Nursing Home Visitations

Aug 30, 2020
task force video conference screen
The Florida Channel

A ban on visitation at Florida’s 4,000 long-term care facilities expires in early September, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is poised to reopen doors to residents’ family members and friends who have been unable to visit because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

DeSantis will consider recommendations finalized Wednesday by the Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long Term Care Facilities.

Florida Department of Health

The rate of positive COVID-19 tests reported by the state Saturday – reflecting the percent of people who tested positive for the first time – was 4.97% statewide. The results of 72,577 tests were returned Friday.

It’s the eleventh straight day the positivity rate was under 7.5%.

The Florida Department of Health reported Saturday that 3,197 people tested positive for the coronavirus since Friday.

That brings the total number of cases statewide to 619,003.

In the great Tampa Bay Region, another 555 new cases were reported Saturday.

Pages