The Point, March 18, 2020: Latest Coronavirus Updates Around Florida; Also See Who Won The 2020 Gainesville City Commission Elections


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The top stories near you

• WUFT News: Harvey Ward, David Arreola Retain Gainesville City Commission Seats; Reina Saco Also Wins Office. “Incumbents David Arreola and Harvey Ward easily held onto their Gainesville City Commission seats in voting on Tuesday, while local attorney Reina Saco won elected office for the first time.”

• WUFT News: Colleges And Students React To News That Four UF Students Test Positive For COVID-19. “Students at all of the universities were ordered to return home unless it was absolutely impossible, and employees who can work remotely were strongly encouraged to do so. Last week, UF had encouraged students to leave campus, but many have remained in Gainesville.”

• More of what you need to know about COVID-19 locally and statewide today: Six confirmed cases in Alachua County. Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to offer financial support to small businesses impacted by the virus. Register here to tune into a Telephone Town Hall at 6:45 p.m. with Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe. (WUFT News)

• Gainesville Sun ($): UF’s COVID-19 positive dental student treated patients. “A UF College of Dentistry student who treated patients was among those diagnosed with COVID-19.”

• AP: Florida Schools Will Stay Closed Through April 15 Because Of Coronavirus. “State school officials said public schools would remain closed until April 15, and announced the suspension of mass campus gatherings, including sports events.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: How to help locally with coronavirus preparations. “Coronavirus concerns are on everyone’s mind. One of the most important questions that looms large is how we can help each other. How can we each make a difference?”

• WUFT News: No Winner Yet In Vacant Ocala City Council Seat Race. “Ocala City Council District 2 seat will remain vacant a while longer.”

• Alachua County Today: Alachua’s new fire station opens doors. ‘The station’s location means that residents and businesses in the area will get quicker service for emergencies. An added bonus for residents may also mean lower insurance costs in the surrounding communities due to having a closer fire station.”

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Around the state today

• Florida Politics: And the candidates with the most votes in Florida was — Donald Trump. “The Democratic presidential primary may have gotten the most attention. But Donald Trump finished Florida’s primary with the most votes of any candidate for President.”

• AP: Joe Biden Wins Florida Democratic Primary As Coronavirus Disrupts Voting. “Joe Biden swept to victory in Florida, Illinois and Arizona on Tuesday, increasingly pulling away with a Democratic presidential primary upended by the coronavirus and building pressure on Bernie Sanders to abandon his campaign.”

• WUSF: Manatee County Patient Is State’s Seventh Coronavirus Fatality. “Manatee was one of the state’s first two counties with an announced case of COVID-19 at the beginning of the month. There are now 216 patients with the coronavirus in Florida, after the state added 24 cases in its 6 p.m. update on Tuesday.”

• WLRN: Palm Beach Drive-Thru Testing Site Shuts Down, Overrun By Demand And Short On Supplies. “Two days after announcing that it was conducting free drive-thru testing for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a nonprofit in West Palm Beach had to halt new visits after it was overrun by demand and quickly ran out of testing supplies.”

• Miami Herald: University of Miami medical campus member tests presumptive positive for COVID-19. “The University of Miami confirmed Tuesday that a member of its medical campus community has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The university says the person is in good condition and is self-isolating to prevent the spread of infection.”

• WJCT: Florida Expands Coronavirus Testing Criteria To Allow Doctors Discretion. “The new state Department of Health guidance is a significant expansion of the previous criteria, which restricted testing mainly to those who traveled internationally or were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.”

• USA Today: How utility, phone and internet companies are giving consumers a break during coronavirus pandemic. “Companies like Comcast, PG&E, AT&T, Hyundai and Duke Energy are among the businesses giving people a break, in one way or another. Some companies are offering free services as COVID-19 disrupts life for students, workers, families, businesses and communities.”

•Florida Politics: Florida prisons not impacted by coronavirus — for now. “The department is “closely monitoring developments” and “is fully prepared to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 within the state operated correctional institutions in Florida.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Joshua Quick awarded Carnegie Medal for defending yoga studio shooting victims. “It’s awarded to those who risked their lives to an “extraordinary degree” while attempting to save others.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Athlete Compensation Bill Heading To DeSantis. “Florida lawmakers approved late Friday a measure that will allow for college athletes to profit while playing.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Trade Secret Bills Fail For The Third Consecutive Session. “The end of the 2020 legislative session spelled the end for attempts to clarify Florida’s trade secrets law to give the public greater access to information.”

• WTSP: Reports: Tom Brady expected to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “The legendary quarterback won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.”

From NPR News

• National: White House Wants To Send Checks To Americans As Coronavirus Stalls Economy

• National: Toilet Paper, Frozen Foods And Hand Sanitizer Purchases Are Up. So Are Gun Sales

• World: U.S. Journalists From 4 Major Publications To Be Expelled From China

• Science: Are U.S. Hospitals Ready?

• Health: Drive-Through Coronavirus Tests Begin To Pop Up Around The United States

• Health: Coronavirus May Call On Retired Medical Workers To Come Back To Work

• Health: July Or August? When The Coronavirus Crisis Could See A Turning Point

• Politics: Former Rep. Duncan Hunter Gets 11 Months In Prison For Misusing Campaign Funds

• Books: ‘Later’ Takes Us To 1990s Provincetown, As Hope For AIDS Treatment Rises

About Jasmine Dahlby

Jasmine is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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