The Point, April 18, 2020: Select Florida Beaches Are Starting To Reopen For People To Exercise

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• WUFT News: Coronavirus Daily Update: Long-Term Care Facilities Account For One In Five Deaths Statewide. “As of Friday morning, they accounted for 141 of the state’s 686 deaths.”

• Florida Storms: A Stormy Saturday is Becoming More Likely Across North and Central Florida. “Saturday’s thunderstorms are expected to form or move along a warm front that will stretch roughly 50 miles either side of a line from Panama City to Ocala to Orlando. The boundary will separate slightly cooler and drier air to the north from an increasingly warm and humid air mass to the south.”

• WUFT News: ‘It’s Such a Weird Time’: College Students Adjust To Being Back At Home. “Students everywhere have had to maintain their studies remotely by attending classes virtually, learning course material alone and taking exams at home. Besides missing a regular college experience, it also means readjusting to a lack of much desired independence at home.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Animal Services Operates During Pandemic, Foster Numbers High. “Alachua County Animal Services is the only animal shelter in the county that is still fully functional and taking in stray animals. Ed Williams, Animal Services Director, said that although they’re still taking in strays, the shelter isn’t overwhelmed.”

• Palm Beach Post: Grounded flights = dark data for weather models. Why that’s not good for you. “Gurgles and gusts high in the atmosphere have stories to tell about future weather patterns at Earth’s surface, but airplanes grounded by coronavirus are collecting less data and leaving holes in forecasts during one of the most active times of the year.”

• Florida Politics: Kat Cammack reports six-figure haul in crowded CD 3 primary. “Republican congressional candidate Kat Cammack raised another $103,000 for her campaign in the first quarter, keeping her in the top tier of the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho.”


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Around the state today

• Florida Politics: ‘Don’t ruin this for everyone,’ Lenny Curry warns Jacksonville beachgoers. “Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry surprised even members of the City Council with his decision to re-open beaches Friday evening.”

• St. Augustine Record: St. Johns County authorizes partial reopening of beaches. “‘Walk to exercise not to socialize,’ said Dr. Dawn C. Allicock, director and health officer of Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County, in a release.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota County will consider reopening beaches. “One scenario could allow residents to use the shoreline for walking and jogging but not allow crowds to congregate in beach chairs or under canopies. Another could allow the beaches to open entirely with no restrictions.”

• Miami Herald: Parts of Florida reopening beaches despite virus. Some say this is a ‘crazy, bad idea.’ “Florida is still under a stay at home order due to the coronavirus so the access to these beaches is limited to recreational activities only. There are to be no chairs, no coolers and no gathering together to sit, sip brews and chat.”

• Orlando Sentinel ($): Florida’s coronavirus peak already passed, death count lower, model now says. “…now the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation out of the University of Washington predicts a much lesser toll. Released Friday, it projects the state will see between 775 and 3,430 deaths by May 29 with a median projected death toll of 1,363.”

• WMFE: Coronavirus Cases Continue to Rise Among Publix Store Workers in Central Florida. “Publix offers fourteen days of paid sick leave for associates who test positive for COVID-19 and any coworker who came in close contact with them.”

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Manatee School Board says it won’t open schools this year. “Board Member Scott Hopes, an epidemiologist who worked with the World Health Organization and Chinese government officials during the SARS outbreak in 2003, said he will not consider opening schools, given the fact that there continue to be new cases of COVID-19 in Manatee County.”

• Miami Herald: When inmates started dying of COVID-19, Florida kept it quiet — until it leaked out. “At least four inmates have died, nearly one in three inmate tests are coming back positive and there’s little information on exactly who is being tested and when.”

• Tallahassee Democrat: Protester cements himself in plastic barrels outside the Governor’s Mansion. “Protester Jordan Mazurek, 28, cemented his hands in two 55-gallon plastic drums in the driveway of the Governor’s Mansion… Mazurek is protesting how Gov. Ron DeSantis is handling coronavirus in state prisons.”

• Florida Phoenix: DeSantis on budget vetoes: ‘We are dealing with something that is unprecedented and we’ve just got to be very responsible.’ “In the next month or so, state economists will begin revising their estimate of state revenue, including sales tax collections, which are expected to plummet because of the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus. The sales tax is the primary funding source for the state’s general revenue fund.”

• Florida Keys News: First, a hurricane, Then, an algae bloom. Now, Keys fishermen try to weather a pandemic. “The population of the Florida Keys tends to be transient and loses and gains residents depending on hurricanes, recessions and real estate booms and crashes. For the past 10 years, it has bounced between 74,000 and 80,000 people. Of that number, about 4,500 people work on a commercial fishing boat.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): They survived the Holocaust. They say this pandemic, too, shall pass. “South Florida’s Holocaust survivors have gotten past times of crisis before, living through food shortages, travel prohibitions, closed borders and shuttered businesses.”


From NPR News

• Health: N95 Mask Shortage Brings Inventor Out Of Retirement In Search Of Safe Reuse Method

• Health: An Epidemiologist Answers What Is Needed To Reopen The Country

• Health: Coronavirus FAQs: Can Sunlight Kill The Virus? How Risky Is An Elevator Ride?

• Health: Listener Questions About When It Will Be Safe To Travel Again

• Health: Marriage And Relationships Under Lockdown: Advice From A Therapist

• World: U.N. Agency Fears ‘Vulnerable’ Africa May Suffer At Least 300,000 COVID-19 Deaths

• National: West Virginia Aims To Test All Nursing Home Residents, Workers for COVID-19

• National: Across The Country, Governors Are Taking The Lead On Coronavirus Response

• Books: Instagram Allowed For Truth To Be Crafted, Despite ‘No Filter’ Options

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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