Coronavirus

Farmworkers: DeSantis’ Remarks About Coronavirus Spread ‘Shameful’

Jun 18, 2020
Ron DeSantis stands at a podium surrounded by his cohorts.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Farm workers are pushing back after Gov. Ron DeSantis said clusters of “overwhelmingly Hispanic” day laborers and agriculture workers are the source for Florida’s recent surge in coronavirus cases.

State Boosts COVID-19 Testing For Long-Term Care Workers

Jun 18, 2020
Under the emergency rules, which take effect July 7, nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be banned from allowing any staff members into the buildings who have not been tested for COVID-19.
iStock

Staff members at nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be required to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks under a pair of emergency rules issued Wednesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

WHO and partners have called for drugmakers to suspend their patent rights on any effective COVID-19 vaccine and for billions of dollars to buy vaccines for developing countries.
Associated Press

The chief scientist at the World Health Organization says the agency hopes there will be about 2 billion doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of next year that would be reserved for “priority populations.”

The 9U Gatorball baseball team takes a knee on the field after its practice at Jonesville Park in Gainesville on Tuesday.
Lauren Witte / WUFT

Fifteen-year-old softball player Riley Diedrick wanted nothing more than to race alongside her friends.

Lee County Funds Antibody Study

Jun 18, 2020

Lee County Commissioners approved funding Tuesday for Florida Gulf Coast University researchers to conduct a COVID-19 antibody study.

The News-Press reports, commissioners approved spending no more than $450,000 dollars from the $134.5 million the county received from the federal CARES Act for the research.

The two-phase study is aimed at collecting more data to get a clearer picture of the community's true infection rate, which could help guide response to a potential second wave of the viral pandemic.

Earlier this month, right after the Keys reopened to visitors, Monroe County commissioners voted three to two against making masks mandatory inside businesses. They did recommend the wearing of masks.

But after a couple weeks of watching how people are behaving, they decided to revisit the issue.

The Tampa Bay area continues to see unsurpassed numbers of new coronavirus cases, with 551 more people testing positive since Tuesday.

It’s the first time the regional daily increase in the number of people testing positive has topped 500.

The Pinellas County School district is asking students, families, staff and community members for input on reopening schools.

The Return to School survey measures comfort levels on models of instruction, bus transportation, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment in classrooms.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is continuing to ease restrictions related to the coronavirus, despite the state seeing record increases in new cases of COVID-19.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman responded with an order on Wednesday requiring workers inside city limits to wear a mask starting Friday at 5 p.m.

Linda Breen has been self-isolating for months. She's 69 and has a respiratory issue that she says puts her at risk if she were to catch the coronavirus.

Governor Ron DeSantis claimed hundreds of airport employees had tested positive when that number is actually only in the single digits.

When astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken launched from Kennedy Space Center last month, NASA and SpaceX made history. It was the first human launch from the U.S. since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 — and the public-private partnership did it in the middle of a global pandemic.

An NPR survey of state health departments shows that the national coronavirus contact tracing workforce has tripled in the past six weeks, from 11,142 workers to 37,110. Yet given their current case counts, only seven states and the District of Columbia are staffed to the level that public health researchers say is needed to contain outbreaks.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A lot of people are asking the question we are about to tackle in this next story - is all this mask-wearing really helping to curb the spread of coronavirus? NPR's Maria Godoy set out to answer that question.

Across the country, states are loosening the restrictions that had been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 — with varying results.

Questions Remain About Reopening State Offices in Florida

Jun 17, 2020

More than a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis began restarting Florida’s economy, his administration has not issued guidance for how state agencies should reopen offices to workers and the public.

WWE Shuts Down Filming In Orlando After Performer Tests Positive

Jun 17, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed the WWE an essential business, which allowed it to continue holding matches and filming throughout the pandemic.
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF

World Wrestling Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has stopped filming at its Orlando training and production facilities after a performer tested positive for coronavirus.

DeSantis To Keep State Open Despite Surge In Coronavirus Cases

Jun 17, 2020

Saying society needs to "function," Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Tuesday to keep Florida open despite a recent surge in the number of people infected with COVID-19.

Mayor Lenny Curry said Tuesday the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases has dropped as compared to the city’s peak.

A Jacksonville-based data scientist says the way Florida presents COVID-19 data to the public is misleading, and he worries it’s being done deliberately to help support efforts to reopen the state.

Doctors Demand Governor Mandate Masks

Jun 17, 2020

Even as Florida is reopening, the state is seeing record numbers of new COVID-19 cases. A a group of doctors has asked Governor DeSantis to make the wearing of protective face masks mandatory in certain settings.

There is much that isn't known about the coronavirus. But Dr. Howard Kessler, president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, said one fact is undisputed.

Hurricane Preparation During COVID-19 Pandemic

Jun 17, 2020

Hurricanes don’t care if there’s a global pandemic causing chaos and disorder. No virus could slow down a storm brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. Like every hurricane season, Florida could see destructive tropical storms and hurricanes from now until November regardless of another possible wave of COVID-19 infections.

Locals are familiar with standard hurricane preparations after enduring storms throughout the years. But preparing for a hurricane during a pandemic is a new reality all South Floridians are facing. 

The Broward County School Board presented preliminary plans for reopening public schools at a press conference on June 16. The board's goal is to guarantee students the option of completing half of their learning time on campus. 

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert Runcie said it was imperative to reopen and maximize physical time spent at school. 

As South Florida swings into its third week of reopening amid the COVID-19 outbreak and testing expands, the virus is showing signs of increasing.

With the start of school just two months away, Governor Ron DeSantis is suggesting public schools return to campus for the fall semester.

Authorities say five employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane hunter base in Lakeland have tested positive for COVID-19.

In Florida, where there's a surge of new COVID-19 cases, officials are divided over what to do about it. The state saw 2,783 new cases Tuesday. It was the third time in the past seven days that Florida set a new daily record.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republican officials, including President Trump, say the rising number of new cases was expected and is mostly the result of increased testing. Florida is now testing more than 200,000 people a week, more than double the number tested weekly in mid-May.

The wealthiest American households are keeping a tight grip on their purse strings even as their lower-income counterparts are spending a lot more freely when they emerge from weeks of lockdown. That decline in spending by the wealthy could limit the whole country's economic recovery.

Researchers based at Harvard have been tracking spending patterns using credit card data. They found that people at the bottom of the income ladder are now spending nearly as much as they did before the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil on Tuesday reported a national record of nearly 35,000 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, even as the government has insisted that the outbreak is under control.

The health ministry added 34,918 new cases, but Brazilian media, in collaboration with state health departments, said the figure was probably undercounted by a few thousand. The ministry also announced 1,282 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to more than 45,000 since the pandemic began.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently took an unusual step of encouraging people to drive alone — the exact opposite of what cities have urged people to do for years.

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