The Point, March 22, 2020: A Personal Story Of Trying To Get Tested For COVID-19 In Florida

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Today’s top Florida stories

• One of our colleagues responsible for editing the stories we bring to you in this space each day had a scare with coronavirus-like symptoms last week, and she decided to share it in a first-person account. Her conclusion, now that she feels better? “This is what concerns me: How would we know if there was community transmission if we don’t test people who haven’t had contact with a known positive? How can we do anything to curb this pandemic if we don’t even have enough tests?”

• Alachua County: Six New COVID-19 Positive Tests Bring Alachua County Total to 21.​We are assuming that we have community transmission. At this point, whether it is travel-related or community transmitted is not pertinent as all cases are equally dangerous. Moving forward, we will just report case totals.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: Seven test positive for COVID-19 in Citrus County. “All seven, three men and four women, are county residents.”

• WUSF: Florida’s Coronavirus Total Jumps By 200. “More than 9,300 people have been tested in Florida, with 7,570 testing negative. Test results are still pending for 1,005 people, the state reported. The state is also monitoring 1,080 people for symptoms of the disease.”

• Florida Phoenix: Florida may quarantine COVID-19 carriers in hotels, convention centers. “Thirty-four hospitals in Florida are at 50 percent capacity, and state health officials have identified six that are entirely vacant and might be drafted into service, (Gov. Ron) DeSantis said.”

• Tallahassee Democrat: Florida university presidents asked to address housing and meal costs as students vacate. “One of the many questions on the minds of parents of students sent home from Florida’s public universities is: Will there be refunds for room and board and campus meal plans?”

• Florida Keys News: ‘You might as well shutter the town.’ Florida Keys brace for a future without tourists. “‘There is no industry here,’ said Scott Jordan, manager of the 18-room Seafarer Resort and Beach at mile marker 97 in Key Largo. ‘Tourism is the industry here. You’re either waiting tables, behind a bar, cleaning rooms or running a small resort.'”

• Florida Today: New research suggests heat, humidity could put a damper on coronavirus. “Their findings are consistent with other research that shows high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza.”

• WFSU: DeSantis On COVID-19 Fears: ‘Keep Calm, We’re There For You.’ “His message of calm comes as grocery store shelves become increasingly bare, gun sales are surging and people are preparing for worst-case scenarios.”


How you are doing

• William from Marion County: “I am pretty much isolating, though I go out around 7 a.m. for coffee, a breakfast bagel and read the newspaper… I have at least a two-week supply of food. I ride my bicycle in the p.m. and do a couple of stops for socializing.”

• Lorraine from Palm Coast: “I’ve been a Registered Nurse since 1978. First 20 years were spent in critical care, next 10 were in public health, then 10 in hospice. My daughter, who always told me how proud she was of me (isn’t it supposed to be the other way around), said she was so glad I was retired. I still have my license and thought of trying to help out in some way. Again my daughter saying: NO WAY, Mom!  She did ask me what I felt would be the best way to determine how to decide who would get limited resources, if it came to that. Without hesitation, I said those who are productive members of society. It took my breath away after I said it and brings tears to my eyes now writing those words. Well just “WHO” decides who is productive? And I fear I am not productive. That makes me scared.”

• NC and Shelley from Ocala: “We are retired. As long as Social Security and our pension plans hold up and food supplies are steady, no problems. We really are not worried about that. We are worried about workers out of work. Doubt that current plans are sufficient to get them through. We have long to-do lists which will keep us busy and occupied: Clean garage and other cluttered storage spaces; write autobiography; call loved ones; read books we have acquired but not read; organize photos; clean computer storage; clean out old emails; online church services; online club meetings; swim in our pool; online learning; and much more. For first time in my life, I feel sorry for those folks who are so organized they have nothing to do?”


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From NPR News

• World: Despite Lockdown, Italy’s Coronavirus Cases Continue Dramatic Climb

• Health: FDA Approves First Rapid COVID-19 Test

• Health: Coronavirus Threatens Rural Hospitals Already At The Financial Brink

• Health: U.S. Hospitals Prepare Guidelines For Who Gets Care Amid Coronavirus Surge

• Health: There’s A Federal System For Signing Up Medical Volunteers — But It’s Neglected

• Health: Cooking Tips For Self-Isolation

• Business: Personal Finance Advice For The Coronavirus Crisis

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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