Coronavirus

Pharmacy staff who prepare IV drugs inside hospitals are the latest health care workers decrying a shortage of masks as they scramble to prepare medicines for patients with diagnoses ranging from cancer to COVID-19.

U.S. and Mexican officials say that the two countries are working on an agreement to halt nonessential travel across their shared border while keeping vital trade links open as part of an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a tweet on Thursday referring to the disease caused by the virus, said he was working closely with his Mexican counterpart, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, "on travel restrictions that balance protecting our citizens from further transmission of #COVID19."

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered California's 40 million residents to stay at home indefinitely in the widest-ranging directive so far of any state as it grapples with a growing novel coronavirus epidemic that has killed 150 people nationwide.

The order late Thursday called on people to remain in their homes with exceptions only for essential travel. The move follows similar restrictions issued earlier this week for the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the early 1990s, two dozen House lawmakers pitched an idea of voting electronically. The proposal didn't get very far.

Now, as the coronavirus threat grows, one of original sponsors of that measure is trying again.

"At the time we didn't have ... the electronic communications we have today to safely vote remotely," said Ohio Republican Rob Portman, who is now a senator. "Now we do."

Portman is co-sponsoring a resolution with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois to allow remote voting.

And Portman has a lot more company this time.

Hillsborough County will open drive-thru coronavirus testing sites at Raymond James Stadium and the Florida State Fairgrounds – as soon as necessary supplies comes in.

Sarasota and Manatee counties will close all public beaches amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus.

Several malls in the Tampa Bay area are closing temporarily to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Cases of the coronavirus have now topped 10,000 in the U.S. The U.S. State Department today issued an advisory warning Americans against travel abroad. President Trump announced he's mobilizing FEMA to help with the administration's response.

WHO says people without symptoms probably account for about 6 percent of spread of the coronavirus, at most.
iStock

Low-income Floridians seeking benefits such as food stamps, temporary assistance or Medicaid coverage will no longer be able to apply for them in person because of the coronavirus outbreak.

barbed wire prison fence
WMFE

Florida prisons have temporarily stopped accepting new inmates, a move aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus in state correctional facilities but that shifts the burden of housing offenders to local officials.

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
iStock

Residents at 19 long-term care facilities across the state have tested positive or are suspected of testing positive for the novel coronavirus, Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew said Wednesday.

As Florida ramps up its efforts to screen for coronavirus, it's starting to open drive-thru testing sites across the state. But there's still challenges with supplies and testing availability.


Hillsborough County is releasing inmates as it prepares for the coronavirus. Sheriff Chad Chronister said the order applies to 164 people charged with minor offenses who cannot make bail.

Calling it the hardest decision he's had to make as the leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Bishop Gregory Parkes announced Wednesday that he’s suspending all public Mass celebrations in the Tampa Bay area.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says state emergency managers are working on a contingency plan for The Villages.

Positive tests for coronavirus have popped up in Lake and Sumter counties, and the large retirement community is at particular risk because of its aging population.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that supply delays are slowing the state's ability to ramp up testing for COVID-19.

Fourteen more people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 328. In addition, an eighth person has died.

The latest death was someone who had previously tested positive in Clay County. No other information was released.

The Clearwater City Council voted Wednesday 4-1 to close public beaches for two weeks over fears of coronavirus -- but the order doesn't begin until Monday morning.

A member of the University of South Florida’s Counseling Center in Tampa has tested positive for coronavirus.

All evictions in Hillsborough County are suspended, effective immediately. 

Duval Public School students will be returning to the classroom virtually on this coming Monday, March 23. 


  As COVID-19 shutdowns take effect all over the state of Florida, local restaurants, bars and other small businesses have been seriously impacted. 

Emergency response agencies, like the Fort Myers Fire Department are often on the front lines during uncertain times.


 As more Covid-19 cases are confirmed in SWFL, WGCU’s Andrea Perdomo spoke with the Fort Myers Fire Chief, Tracy McMillion about precautions his department is taking.


Update: 3/19

 

Another major tourist attraction in Panama City Beach will close through the end of the month. Pier Park, an outdoor shopping mall and amusement park, closed on Wednesday evening, according to a release from Simon Property Group.  The attraction will reopen on March 29. 

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare has set up a drive-through sample collection center to test for COVID-19. The Northwood Centre drive-through site is the first of its kind in Leon County, where as of today (Wednesday, March 18) there are still no confirmed cases of the virus.

Law enforcement and court officials are working to keep coronavirus out of their systems. Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil says his department is working to create more space inside their detention centers to comply with social distancing recommendations. That could involve releasing some inmates and using more discretion when it comes to booking new ones.

Two local hospitals tonight (Wednesday, March 18) are reporting the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tallahassee. Three people tested positive for coronavirus, one of whom has died.

A fourth person who could have been exposed to coronavirus at an assisted-living facility in Fort Lauderdale has now been hospitalized, a fire official says.

Pages