Coronavirus

A study released Thursday shows that children may play a larger role in community spread of COVID-19 than previously understood.

The research out of Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children shows that infected children — even those without symptoms — can have higher levels of virus in their airways than adults hospitalized in intensive care units.

Lake  Butler prison arch
Florida Department of Corrections

A third Florida correctional officer has died from complications of COVID-19, the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed on Wednesday, nine days after the officer died.

Johnnie Brown, a correctional officer who was assigned to the Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler, began his career with the Florida Department of Corrections in 2006.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggests South Florida should join the rest of the state in the second phase of economic recovery efforts.

He says having venues like bars closed down hasn’t helped bring down the positivity rate in this region.

A lot of countries of late claim they’ve developed COVID-19 vaccines. The latest is Cuba, which is set to begin testing its vaccine next week.

Cuban scientists told President Miguel Díaz-Canel this week they’re set to start a phase one clinical trial of their vaccine, called Soberana 01. They said it’s shown promise in mice and rabbits creating antibodies against the new coronavirus, similar to vaccines used previously against the SARS virus.

A week after Wakulla County Schools reopened the local health Department says positive coronavirus tests have been reported. Blaise Gainey has the details.

Children’s Health Insurance Affected By COVID-19

Aug 21, 2020
young boy getting shot from women doctor
CDC

The economic upheaval that has left hundreds of thousands of Floridians without jobs might also upend health insurance for children in working families.

There is a growing fear that families dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot qualify for low-cost children’s health coverage offered in state programs yet may not easily transition to Medicaid, the safety-net program for poor, elderly and disabled people.

New Field Of Law Emerges In Response To COVID-19 Pandemic

Aug 21, 2020
Josephine Balzac
Zoom / WMFE

With the challenges of the pandemic come new legal challenges for businesses, governments and other institutions. Brick and mortar schools are preparing to reopen. In Orange County- teachers are back on campus Friday for students who opted for face to face learning. 

So what are the liabilities for schools if kids or teachers get sick? What about businesses reopening? Attorney Josephine Balzac, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College, says there’s a whole new field of legal practice emerging: pandemic law. 

Another 4,555 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida. At the same time, the positivity rate for new infections hit the lowest level in two months.

The coronavirus pandemic is making it harder for the more than 460 veterans treatment courts in the U.S. to function. These courts seek to rehabilitate veterans charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, rather than put them behind bars.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working "to build a revolutionary new data system" for COVID-19 hospital data collection that the CDC will run upon completion, according to Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Birx's comments this week come a month after the Trump administration mandated that hospitals sidestep the agency and send critical information about COVID-19 hospitalizations and equipment to a different federal database managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC.

President Trump suggested in recent comments that there is a treatment for COVID-19 that members of his own administration are slow-walking to thwart his reelection bid.

The treatment is something called convalescent plasma. Since April, the Food and Drug Administration has been encouraging efforts to broaden the use of convalescent plasma and test its safety and effectiveness.

Dr. Anthony Fauci underwent surgery to remove a polyp from one of his vocal cords Thursday, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the agency Fauci has led for decades. The surgery was an outpatient procedure.

"He's now home and resting," an NIAID spokesperson tells NPR. "Expect him to be completely resting his voice at least through the weekend."

Yousuf El-Jayyousi, a junior engineering student at the University of Missouri, wanted guidance and reassurance it would be safe to go back to school for the fall semester. He tuned into a pair of online town halls organized by the university hoping to find that.

He did not.

In a back-to-school season unusually fraught with uncertainty, two high school teachers in Albany, Ga., are going viral for their creative approach to raising students' morale.

Callie Evans and Audri Williams, teachers and cheerleading coaches at Monroe Comprehensive High School, rapped about virtual learning and the COVID-19 pandemic in a music video that has garnered thousands of likes and comments in two days.

Education Officials Offer Guidance On Handling Coronavirus

Aug 20, 2020
Florida Department of Education

Florida education officials have outlined how local school officials should respond when students or employees test positive for the coronavirus, providing more details on what has been a top concern amid school reopenings.

The first day of hearings in the legal battle over reopening brick-and mortar schools in Florida wrapped up Wednesday afternoon.

Statewide teachers union, the Florida Education Association, is challenging the state’s order that campuses most open five days per week. The suit alleges the state mandate violates a constitutional requirement that public schools be “safe.”

The FEA rested its case Wednesday, part of which included bringing expert witnesses. One of those was Doctor Annette Nielsen. She serves on an advisory board for Orange County Schools.

 Gov. Ron DeSantis
WUSF

Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Floridians to take care of their mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause fear and isolation.

On Wednesday in Altamonte Springs, he convened a roundtable  of physicians and criminal justice leaders to discuss data trends that define the degree of our isolation. 

South Florida is on the verge of moving to Phase 2 of reopening from COVID-19 restrictions, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Citing “significant downward trends” in coronavirus cases, the governor said he is discussing the move with all three counties — Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

“I’m not saying I’m going to do it today or we’re gonna do it tomorrow. ...[But] these are sustained trends at this point and I think that that’s a good thing,” he said.

Less than 48 hours after reopening to students, COVID-19 cases were reported at three Manatee County schools.

State officials and federal agencies warn there's a new phone scam circulating: Callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers are trying to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims.

The grifters apparently are taking advantage of a genuine public health intervention that is crucial to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus: contact tracing.

Wednesday’s report from the Florida Department of Health showed an increase of 4,115 people testing positive for the coronavirus in the 24 hours since Tuesday's report, bringing the total cases statewide to 584, 047.

The graph of Spain's daily coronavirus case count is taking on an emphatic U-shape, with 3,715 new infections in the past 24 hours – joining Germany and France on Wednesday in reporting the most cases since lockdowns helped Europe quash an initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic months ago.

France reported 3,776 cases in the past 24 hours, its health ministry reported.

By the second week in July, COVID-19 cases in North Carolina were climbing fast.

With nearly 19,000 diagnoses over the previous two weeks, only five states recorded more new coronavirus cases than North Carolina did.

"Today is our highest day of hospitalizations and our second-highest day of cases," Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, announced on July 9, standing behind a podium in the state's Emergency Operations Center. "Please continue to treat the virus like the deadly threat that it is."

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Florida, where some 580,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus, ranks behind only California in the total number of cases. A new report describes the impact the pandemic is having on one of Florida's most important industries, tourism.

In the second quarter of the year — April, May and June — the state's tourism agency estimates 60% fewer people traveled to Florida compared to the same period a year earlier. That's a decline of almost 20 million visitors.

At the height of summer, temperatures climb to nearly 100 degrees most days in Pharr, a small city in South Texas. Nonetheless, nurse practitioner Oralia Martinez and her staff have set up a temporary exam room outside her small clinic.

This is their way of preserving masks and other personal protective equipment as they treat COVID-19 patients in the Rio Grande Valley, where infections are spiking. While Martinez and her colleagues sweat in full gear outside, the staffers and other patients inside the clinic aren't exposed and don't need as much PPE.

Outside the Duval County School Board Building Tuesday morning, a group of local church leaders gathered to call for local schools to go fully virtual for at least the first semester.

COVID-19 cases among the student body have been confirmed at two of Jacksonville’s private college preparatory schools following a social gathering among some of their students.

Teachers, parents and kids going back to school don't have their usual routines this year.

Students in Broward County begin the new year with e-learning online on Wednesday.

To help ease some of the anxiety and stress that the pandemic brings, psychologists in Broward County got together for a panel discussion Monday night all about back-to-school nerves.

Juan Carlos Becerra

The Martin County School District is telling 231 students from two high schools they should quarantine citing exposure to the coronavirus.

Pages