The Point, April 9, 2020: Florida’s Rural Counties Feel The Impact Of COVID-19


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• WUFT News: COVID-19 Strains Emergency Personnel Nerves And Resources In Florida’s Rural Counties. “COVID-19 has changed the way his department and others in Florida’s northern and central rural counties approach, evaluate and transport patients… EMS and hospital patient intake procedures sometimes change multiple times a day.”

• Gilchrist County Journal: Gilchrist has first Covid-19 Case. ” A 56-year old male residing in the High Springs area of northern Gilchrist County, has tested positive for COVID-19.”

• The Alligator: Two new UF cases reported; Alachua County cases rise to 144. “An undergraduate student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences who lives in off-campus housing and an employee with the UF Libraries Facilities/Planning Department tested positive, bringing the total number of university cases to 32 today.”

• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. “Occupational therapist and University of Florida alumna Amanda Hoss discusses the changes she has had to make in order to keep treatment going for her pediatric patients.”

• WUFT News: How Florida’s Public Schools Have Been Affected By COVID-19. “According to state data, many of the schools under the Turnaround Plan show high percentages of economic disadvantage. With one more year to improve, these schools can finish the year without high stakes testing looming over them. Obstacles introduced by at-home learning will not threaten poor scores and possible closures.”

• Gainesville Sun: UF-led ventilator design clears first FDA review. “Built with parts available at Home Depot, costing less than $250, this DIY medical device may bridge the gap where COVID-19 patients overwhelm hospitals.”

• TCPalm: Coronavirus curdles dairy supply chain, forcing Florida farmers to dump excess milk. “That’s because schools are closed. Theme parks are shuttered. Restaurant dining rooms are empty. The COVID-19 pandemic has all but obliterated institutional milk sales, said (Joe) Wright, who has been president of Southeast Milk, Inc., a Belleview-based cooperative serving six Southern states, for the past 23 years.”

• WUFT News: Stuck At Home: What Is The New Normal In The COVID-19 Era? “Life indoors is the new normal. But what does that entail? To accommodate the change in living, locals are all shifting in their own ways to create a new sense of normalcy.”

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Around the state today

• Fresh Take Florida: ‘Our Very Last Option:’ Immigration Lawyers Sue Federal Agencies To Pause Visa Deadlines Amid Pandemic. “An organization representing immigration attorneys is suing the Trump administration, saying it puts lawyers and immigrants at risk by not relaxing legal deadlines during the pandemic.”

• Fresh Take Florida: Law Enforcement Cracks Down On Price Gouging, Pursues Virus-Related Fraud. “Hand sanitizer for thousands of dollars? Law enforcement officials in Florida are cracking down on alleged price gougers during the pandemic emergency, shutting down online sales or auctions, and pursuing virus-related frauds.”

• TCPalm: 309 COVID-19 deaths in Florida, but not necessarily caused by virus. “This could mean that if someone tests positive for COVID-19 and days later dies for another reason, that death could be counted.”

• WFSU: Florida Launching Field Hospitals To Prepare In Case Of ‘Exponential Growth’ In COVID-19 Patients. “Governor Ron DeSantis says hospital capacity is holding at a statewide average of roughly 43 percent – but in some of the counties hardest hit by COVID-19, officials are setting up overflow facilities in anticipation of more hospitalizations. The good news, DeSantis says – even in those counties, hospitals still have available beds.”

• WUSF: Pasco Elections On Hold Due To Coronavirus While Polk Proceeds … With Precautions. “The Ledger newspaper reported state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, tried unsuccessfully to reach the governor to get him to postpone the elections. Elections supervisor Lori Edwards said she can’t do that on her own.”

• Politico: Trump condemns vote-by-mail, but the Florida GOP is counting on it to win. “The Republican Party of Florida has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent election cycles to boost by-mail balloting, turning out more mail-in votes than Democrats in both 2016 and 2018 — a success it plans to repeat this year.”

• Associated Press: Wildlife group: Gulf oil spill still affecting wildlife. “A decade after the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, dolphins, turtles and other wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico are still seriously at risk, according to a report released Tuesday.”

• WJCT: State Has Power To Enforce Isolation Of Individuals Deemed A Threat To Public Health. “Florida Statute 381.00315 states that the State Health Officer, Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, has the power to order an individual to be “examined, tested, vaccinated, treated, isolated, or quarantined for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health.”

• Florida Politics: Rapid testing could help reopen Florida economy. “South Florida-based Disaster Management Group (DMG) rolled out a 15-minute COVID-19 test last week that has the potential to get Floridians back to work, even as the new coronavirus continues to spread.”

• Pensacola News Journal: Style + safety: Blue Angels will wear new blue and gold face masks. “New blue and gold surgical masks are making their way into the hands and onto the faces of the 140-plus team members of the Blues this week, thanks to a sewing project initiated by the team’s flight surgeon and his wife.” 

• TCPalm: Would hurricane evacuation shelters open amid coronavirus social distancing? June 1 — the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season — is only eight weeks away, at a time when Florida is bracing for a surge in the new coronavirus.”

• WTSP: St. Pete man charged with biological weapons hoax after spitting on officer, saying he had COVID-19. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida filed a criminal complaint against James Jamal Curry. He could face up to five years in federal prison.”

From NPR News

• Politics: Bernie Sanders Suspends Presidential Campaign

• National: Federal Support Ends For Coronavirus Testing Sites As Pandemic Peak Nears

• National: 4 In 10 U.S. Teens Say They Haven’t Done Online Learning Since Schools Closed

• World: Child Sex Abuse Livestreams Increase During Coronavirus Lockdowns

• World: China Opens Wuhan But Coronavirus Concerns Haven’t Gone Away

• Business: Zoom CEO Tells NPR He Never Thought ‘Seriously’ About Online Harassment Until Now

• Health: How Safe Is It To Eat Takeout?

• Books: Stephen King Is Sorry You Feel Like You’re Stuck In A Stephen King Novel

About Blake Trauschke

Blake is a student reporter for WUFT and can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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