Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday the state will be moving forward carefully and encouraged Floridians to continue following social distancing guidelines while coronavirus cases spike.

The Leon County ordinance came as the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida continued to skyrocket this week.
Leon County COVID-19 Information Portal

Calling it a “radical infringement” of constitutional rights, the head of the Republican Party in Leon County teamed with a conservative state representative Thursday to challenge a local ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Pandemic Will Likely Have A Lasting Impact On How UCF Operates

Jun 26, 2020
UCF President Alexander Cartwright
University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida President Dr. Alexander Cartwright says the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on the way the university operates. 

The way hospitals in Florida update their available intensive care unit beds to the state may change. The department wants hospitals to report only the number of COVID positive patients receiving ICU level of care - and not every single COVID patient in ICU. 

Before, hospitals would report the "current number of COVID positive patients admitted into ICU beds," according to an email from Florida's Department of Health to WLRN.

Staffing Cuts Hit Lee Health

Jun 26, 2020

Nearly 900 of Lee Health's 14,500 employees are voluntarily taking summer sabaticals or leaving their jobs permanently through a workforce reduction plan that was announced by health system officials in May.

The plan comes as a way to mitigate operating losses amid the coronavirus pandemic. The News-Press reports that Lee Health estimates it will lose between $50 and $75 million dollars by the end of its fiscal year September 30th.

A recent poll from Florida Atlantic University finds that the coronavirus pandemic has not significantly changed the way Floridians feel about climate change.

Another 5,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida, the state health department reported on Thursday.

The state Department of Health will take over operations of Hillsborough County's COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium, beginning next week.

The state will also help Baycare open a testing site at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Copyright 2020 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.


Millions of Americans have probably had the coronavirus without knowing it.

That's the conclusion of officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many other experts.

"Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections," Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, said during a call with reporters Thursday.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the state will "pause" any further reopening of its economy for now, a day after he said that Texas is facing a "massive outbreak" of the coronavirus.

Orlando Bar Owner Says His Business Is A ‘Scapegoat’

Jun 25, 2020

The owner of the Knight’s Pub in Orlando contended Wednesday that the bar is being used as a “scapegoat” after the state suspended its alcoholic beverage license for violating coronavirus reopening guidelines.

Orange County’s Post Memorial Day Coronavirus Surge

Jun 25, 2020
a chart of orange county coronavirus cases
Orange TV

Coronavirus cases in Orange County have surged as lockdown restrictions eased after Memorial Day. The health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, Dr. Raul Pino said 58% of all COVID-19 cases in the county have been diagnosed since June 11th.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Wednesday renewed her demand that Gov. Ron DeSantis release his administration’s COVID-19 testing and tracing plan for 2020, filing a broad public records request with the state.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will require visitors coming from other states with significant coronavirus cases to quarantine for a two-week period upon arrival.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the travel advisory would go into effect midnight Thursday. He was joined by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy at a midday press briefing.

Lee Student Dies from COVID-19

Jun 25, 2020

A student of Cypress Lake High School in Lee County died Tuesday from COVID-19 complications.

The News-Press reports, 17-year-old Carsyn Davis was admitted to the Children's Hospital on Friday and transfered to the ICU with COVID-19 two days later, on her 17th birthday.

On Monday, Davis was airlifted to another hospital for additional cardiac and respiratory support. She died at 1:06 p.m. Tuesday.

Mayor Lenny Curry says, effective immediately, city code enforcement will be monitoring businesses throughout Jacksonville to make sure state ordered capacity guidelines are being followed.

Clay County’s recently reported COVID-19 case numbers have been fluctuating in the state’s online database. 

FIU And FAU Announce Plans To Reopen In The Fall

Jun 25, 2020

College students all over the world move to South Florida not only for the beaches but for diverse schools like Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University. But when COVID-19 arrived in the Sunshine State, schools were forced to close their doors, sending thousands of students back home to complete the remaining months of their spring semester remotely.

John Brewer never expected this restaurant support community to take off.

14,000 members later, Delray Beach's largest “flash mob” had expanded beyond the city, opening chapters in four cities within Palm Beach County.

Broward County issued a new emergency order Wednesday that will force businesses to temporarily shut down if they’re found violating laws related to social distancing and facial coverings, with county leaders warning that compliance must improve as novel coronavirus cases continue to spike across Florida.

Florida’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge, making it one of the new hotspots in the country. In testimony to Congress this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there’s been a disturbing surge in new COVID cases in Arizona, Texas and Florida.

South Florida remains the epicenter for the pandemic accounting for more than 50 percent of total cases statewide. '

With more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19 in Florida, governments across the state are looking at ways to stem the increase.

According to the Florida Department of Health's Wednesday report, 109,014 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state - an increase of 5,511 positive tests since Tuesday and another record daily high.

As Hillsborough County students prepare for school in August, the district is working on what that return will look like.

During a school board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis presented three models for reopening, each linked to different levels of spread of the disease.

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has some families opting to move elderly parents out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Tampa Bay Comic Con will not be held next month.

Organizers announced the cancellation in a Facebook post on Wednesday, citing city officials' concerns about holding such a wide-scale gathering with the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The Trump administration is defending plans to close 13 federally run coronavirus testing sites in five states at the end of the month.

The testing sites are located in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas. They are the last of 41 federally operated testing sites.

Federal officials say the sites have been closing or transferring to state or local control because it's more efficient to run testing that way. In other instances they argue there are readily available testing sites nearby.

As the U.S. begins to open back up, coronavirus clusters — where multiple people contract COVID-19 at the same event or location — are popping up all over the country. And despite drawing massive crowds, protests against police violence and racial injustice in Washington state weren't among those clusters.

New York City could see as many as 22,000 public employees lose their jobs by summer's end because of the economic hit from COVID-19, which has largely frozen business activity and decimated tax collections.

Speaking Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city has already lost roughly $9 billion in revenue and predicted the toll could rise much higher depending on the lingering impacts of the disease and the pace of the economic recovery.

In the short-term, he said city officials are racing to cut an additional $1 billion from the spending plan for next year.