The Point, March 25, 2020: 2-Year-Old Girl Is The Youngest Person To Test Positive For Coronavirus In Alachua County
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• Gainesville Sun ($): Girl, 2, tests positive for COVID-19. "According to data released yesterday by the Florida Department of Health, the 2-year-old is the youngest yet to report positive in (Alachua County), which has 36 overall cases. The case is not travel-related."
• According to a Palatka Daily News Facebook post, "An emergency room physician at Putnam Community Medical Center was the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in the county, according to Sheriff Gator DeLoach. Others were exposed, including a sheriff's deputy who is now in quarantine."
• WUFT News: Alachua County Commission Chair Defends Grocery Store Occupancy Restrictions. "Alachua County Commission Chairman Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson defended the emergency stay-at-home order’s occupancy restrictions affecting grocery stores, saying on Tuesday evening he was 'pretty adamant that we do not start loosening up the restrictions now.'"
• WUFT News: From The Front Lines: Hearing From A Child Care Worker. "We talked to Sami Dees, an assistant teacher at Kiddie Academy in Gainesville who cares for 2-year-olds. She spoke about enrollment numbers and what it’s like to care for children who have no idea about the seriousness of the current pandemic."
• WUFT News: Forced To Close Because Of COVID-19, Gyms Work Out Ways To Keep Workouts Going. "As of Tuesday Alachua Country has 37 cases of COVID-19, and Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered gyms to close statewide to help slow the virus's spread. Some local gyms are attempting to use apps and websites to reach their members in order to keep themselves afloat."
• Ocala Star-Banner ($): Marion County prison worker has coronavirus. "Employee at Marion Correctional Institution Work Camp near Ocala is on leave as 3 others are isolating themselves due to exposure."
• WUFT News: Alachua County Aiming For UF Students To Say They Live In Gainesville For 2020 Census. "Alachua County lost hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding because too few UF students stated during the 2010 census counting that they lived in Gainesville, officials said."
• WUFT News: ‘This Is A Disaster’: How Coronavirus Is Affecting Gainesville-Area Salons And Barbershops. "As salons nationwide have closed because of mandated social distancing – and with Alachua County’s stay-at-home order taking effect Tuesday – those working in an industry that relies on close, in-person contact are concerned for their livelihoods."
• CBS4: Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell issues stern warning for residents to stay home. "Although Sheriff Darnell says that deputy-involved enforcement would be a last resort, she says that it is the 'civic duty' of the people to stay home to make sure the spread lessens and the amount of time it lasts is reduced."
• WUFT News: Gainesville Businesses Help Schools Feed Students During Spring Break. "With help from Campus USA Credit Union, local restaurants and community volunteers, Alachua County schools are providing more than 1,400 free meals to any child up to age 18 throughout spring break's no-school period."
• WUFT News: 81-Year-Old Archer Native Voluntarily Maintains Historically Black Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery. "Roberta Lopez works with Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery Restoration Organization to maintain the historically black cemetery where generations of her family are buried."
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Around the state today
• Politico: ‘Dumbest s---’: DeSantis takes heat as he goes his own way on coronavirus. "DeSantis has grown only more defiant. On Monday, instead of buckling to political pressure to issue a shelter-in-place order, he said he would restrict visitors coming into the state from coronavirus hot spots including New York. And he’s now literally ignoring pleas from Florida Democrats to be more aggressive."
• WUSF: Tampa To Enact Stay-At-Home Policy; At Odds With Hillsborough County. "(Tampa Mayor Jane Castor's) unilateral move comes a day after a meeting on Monday, when Hillsborough County's Emergency Policy Group voted down Castor's request for a countywide shelter-in-place order. A majority of that group said only the county administrator can issue this kind of order."
• Orlando Sentinel: Orange County stay-at-home order given, starts Thursday. "Osceola County, just south of Orange, is expected to take up a similar order on Wednesday, officials said. A spokesman for Seminole County said Tuesday the county just north of Orange has no plans to put such an order in place."
• News4Jax: Model paints dire picture for Florida hospitals if shelter-in-place isn’t ordered. "According to ( COVIDACTNOW.org's) calculations, in the state of Florida, if no action is taken, the number of people needing hospitalization would peak on April 24, with nearly half a million people statewide — 465,699."
• Tampa Bay Times: The coronavirus recession is here. Will it linger in Florida? "How much of a hit we’ll know next week, when the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research releases its monthly consumer confidence survey. Florida consumers have been reliably optimistic, but 'we are expecting that consumer confidence will drop sharply in March,' bureau director of economic analysis Hector Sandoval said in an email."
• WMFE: Governor Ron DeSantis Waives Work Requirements for Food Assistance Programs. "People applying for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will no longer need to show they’re working full or part-time or enrolled in a training program."
• AP: Home internet jammed up? Try these steps before upgrading. "With so much of the U.S. workforce — and their families — now cooped up at home to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s not a huge surprise that home internet is showing the strain."
• Suwannee Democrat: DeSantis orders airplane travelers from hotspots to quarantine after arriving in Florida. "Absent restrictions on domestic travel from the federal government, Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered travelers to Florida airports from COVID-19 hotspots to quarantine after arriving in the state."
• Fresh Take Florida: Bill To Streamline Life-Saving, Anti-Overdose Drug Naloxone In Schools Failed In Legislature "The powerful, opioid-overdose reversal drug naloxone can save lives when injected or inhaled. The U.S. surgeon general has urged broader access to naloxone to reduce overdose deaths, however, the Legislature failed to pass a measure to make the drug more widely available in Florida’s schools – despite it being free of charge to schools in many cases."
• Miami Herald ($): Miami-Dade County is building a 250-bed hospital at fairgrounds in Westchester. "The hospital is being built in preparation for a surge of coronavirus cases."
• Sun Sentinel ($): More houses are catching fire as people stay home because of coronavirus. "Over the span of just 12 days since the pandemic was declared, the South Florida American Red Cross has been called to assist 133 people who have dealt with 33 fires in South Florida."
• USA Today: Amazon removes more than 3,900 seller accounts from US store due to 'coronavirus-based price gouging.' "On Saturday, Amazon told U.S. warehouse workers that the company was temporarily doubling its overtime pay amid a flood of orders from people hunkered down during the coronavirus pandemic."
• Florida Politics: What’s happening with AICE, IB and AP exams with schools closed over COVID-19?. "AP testing, IB programs and AICE diplomas all depend on test performance, and not state standards suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis this year. Each program will address challenges in different ways."
• Daytona Beach News-Journal ($): Florida Legislature approves bill to protect firefighters from cancer. "The Florida Legislature has approved a bill that would 'provide financial assistance to help fire departments, including volunteer fire departments, procure equipment, supplies and educational training' in an effort to mitigate exposure to cancer-causing contaminants."
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