The Point, March 24, 2020: ‘Stay At Home’: Alachua County Issues Mandate To Limit Coronavirus Spread

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The top stories near you

• On Monday, Alachua County issued a stay-at-home mandate, emulating the emergency response in New York to COVID-19. Stay up to date on the coronavirus in Alachua County and throughout Florida with our staff report: Here’s what you need to know.  If you just want to listen and get caught up, here is today’s episode of our new daily podcast, “From The Front Lines.” (WUFT News)

• From our Fresh Take Florida team: One Gainesville yoga instructor is stranded in Peru amid the pandemic. On Sunday, Peru closed its border: Now no one is allowed in or out, including 34-year-old Jessica Brar. (WUFT News)

• Fresh Take Florida: Florida Shuts Down Visits To Prisons Until At Least April 5 Over Pandemic.“Prisons represent special challenges for a pandemic: Tight quarters and crowded cells make social-distancing difficult. Guards can’t self-isolate by working from home.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Business, Residents React To Closing Of All Dine-In Options In Florida. “Many dining and beverage spot owners said they were just as worried about the impact on the community as they were their own short- and long-term business viability.”

• News Service of Florida: UF To Launch Coronavirus Testing, Research.“The University of Florida Disease Lab will supply the kits for the research tests.”

• Spotlight on Levy County Government: Levy Ambulance Crews Aren’t Short on Protective Masks and Gowns yet; Special Covid-19 Procedures Protect EMTs and Paramedics.“Department of Public Safety Director Mitch Harrell said he ordered more N95 masks Thursday morning through the Florida Emergency Operations Center because traditional supply channels aren’t working.”

• Florida Phoenix: FL college students have begun learning through video conferencing. Will it work? “Florida’s college students, professors and instructors have begun remote learning through video conferencing, and time will tell on how it will play out and how much kids will learn during the coronavirus pandemic.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Exactech lays off 63, others face pay cuts.“The announcement comes a few days after Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed an executive order prohibiting elective surgeries.”

• WCJB: Cedar Key to undergo lockdown starting Tuesday. “The island community is shutting its doors; Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin says that Cedar Key will be locked down starting (today at noon).”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Holds Online Public Forum About Fairground Redevelopment. “According to (a UF economic impact analysis) report, the U.S. Army Reserve would spend $36 million to construct the facility. In the process, 316 construction jobs, which would last between 12 and 16 months, would be created in Alachua County.”


How you are doing

Tell us how you’re staying busy and inspired during Florida’s coronavirus outbreak via recorded voice memo to news@wuft.org or call and leave us a voicemail at 352-392-6397. Please include your first name and city.

• Pat from The Villages: “Almost everything is shut down here. I was volunteering with a small group for Habitat for Humanity, but now I’m not doing that anymore. I’m just staying home and doing voice donations on the internet through VOCALiD. It’s a great organization that transforms our voices for use by people who have lost their voices from illnesses. All you have to do is read passages they send you. I think people will find this to be a worthwhile project while the are staying home.”


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Around the state today

• Orlando Sentinel ($): DeSantis orders 14-day self-quarantine for travelers from U.S. coronavirus hotspots New York, New Jersey. “The move comes after DeSantis said he didn’t see the need to order Floridians to stay home as several other states have done because he believes social distancing helped stem the rate of coronavirus infections in the state.” Watch his full appearance here. (Tallahassee Democrat)

WFSU: Florida Grapples With Low Unemployment Benefits As Numbers Skyrocket Due To COVID-19 Layoffs.“The maximum benefit a worker can collect is $3300. That’s $275 a week for a maximum of 12 weeks. The 12-week period is the lowest of any state and the $275 benefit is one of the lowest in the country.”

• News Service of Florida: Legislative leaders bank on reserves to weather the coronavirus storm. “The Senate and House issued statements Monday reiterating that nearly $4 billion in reserves included in a fiscal 2020-2021 budget approved Thursday should help get the state through the crisis.”

Miami Herald: List of companies hiring in FL during coronavirus pandemic.“CVS said it plans to hire an additional 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees across the country.”

• Bradenton Herald: Coronavirus makes it hard to find toilet paper. Don’t flush other products down the drain. “Manatee’s release points out that the items cause clog systems that eventually back up and cause sanitary system overflows that pump wastewater back out into the streets. The result ‘can cause damage to property and harm humans, animals and the environment.'”

AP: Malaria drugs’ promise for coronavirus spurs hope, shortages. Excitement about treating the new coronavirus with malaria drugs is raising hopes, including with President Donald Trump.”

Palm Beach Post: Rick Scott to end quarantine, join Senate deadlocked on coronavirus bill. “Florida U.S. Sen. Rick Scott will return to the Senate floor Tuesday after an 11-day preventative self-quarantine.”

Florida Today: NASA astronauts give tips on handling isolation amid coronavirus outbreak.“Astronauts, who venture into the dark abyss of space, know a thing or two about isolation, especially those who spend months aboard the International Space Station.”


From NPR News

• National: Supreme Court Allows States To Virtually Eliminate The Insanity Defense

• National: Disability Groups File Complaint On Rationing Policies In Coronavirus Pandemic

• World: U.S. Olympics Officials Say 2020 Games Should Be Postponed Because Of Coronavirus

• Politics: Despite Coronavirus Outbreak, Wisconsin Sticks With April 7 Primary

• Politics: As Coronavirus Precautions Tighten, Trump Looks To Reopen America

• Business: Coronavirus Aid Package Is In Turmoil In The Senate

• Health: Syria Confirms 1st Case Of COVID-19

• Health: Why Hoarding Of Hydroxychloroquine Needs To Stop

• Health: Man Dies, Woman Hospitalized After Taking Form Of Chloroquine To Prevent COVID-19

• Books: Encore: Ross Gay Writes ‘The Book Of Delights’

About Gabriella Paul

Gabriella Paul is a reporter for WUFT. She can be reached at gabbympaul@ufl.edu.

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