The Point, April 20, 2020: In Midst Of Coronavirus Crisis, Alachua County Charter Review Work Continues

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• Florida Politics: In much of North Florida, COVID-19 outbreak is nursing home crisis. “In Suwannee County, more than 80% of the caseload, 77 of 90 cases, and all six COVID-19 deaths have been traced to the Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center in Live Oak, according to data released Saturday by the Florida Department of Health.”

• Florida Times-Union: Long-term care cases surge in Clay. “In all, six of the 11 deaths in the county are connected with nursing homes or assisted living facilities.”

• The Alligator: Gainesville Whole Foods employee tests positive for COVID-19.To help curb the spread of COVID-19, Whole Foods has implemented daily temperature screenings for team members in stores and facilities across the U.S and is requiring employees on the job to wear face masks, according to their website.”

• WMFE: Publix Workers Required to Wear Face Masks, Provide Own PPE Once Stores Run Out.The announcement comes after Publix workers at Orlando stores along with stores in Clearwater and South Florida tested positive for coronavirus.”

• WUFT News: Alachua County Charter Review Commission Continues to Review Voter Proposals. “So far, the 12-member review commission has deemed only 11 of the 58 submissions it’s evaluated since January to be worthy of further review by the county attorney’s office. The panel will review the remaining 22 proposals submitted by the March 31 deadline during virtual meetings set for 3 p.m. on Tuesday and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Engineer Helps Protect Health Workers With Mass-Produced New Mask. “Travis Whitley, a mechanical engineer, came up with a design for a reusable N95 grade mask made out of Halyard H600 – a material that abounds in hospitals and medical offices. It can be 3D-printed or injection-molded for fast mass production.”

• WUFT News: ‘We Wanted to Do Something Different’: UF Student Helps Organize ‘Women PowHer Music’ Event. “They shared their experiences during ‘Women PowHer Music,’ a week-long speaker series witnessed virtually on Zoom by more than 200 people and organized by two college students: Danielle Gray, 20, a junior marketing major at the University of Florida, and Temima Shames, 21, a junior music industry major at State University of New York-Oneonta.”

• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. “Stephanie Bailes, executive director for the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, discusses how — despite being closed — the museum is supplementing the education of students stuck at home.”


Around the state today

• Tampa Bay Times: Florida passes 26,000 COVID-19 cases as death toll continues to rise. “Nationwide, the (University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)  is predicting a median death toll of about 60,308 – but only if the stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures continue in their current form.”

• WLRN: ‘People Are Getting Desperate’: Demand Soars For Free School Meals As Closures Drag On. “It’s now been a month since schools statewide closed their doors in an effort to slow the spread of the contagion, and South Florida school districts have seen demand for free meals increase as the closures have dragged on.”

• Fort Myers News-Press: Florida National Guard to begin virus testing in Charlotte County long-term nursing homes. “Gov. Ron DeSantis said National Guard units will be deployed to expand testing capabilities in facilities around the state.”

• Florida Politics: Dr. Deborah Birx highlights Florida Department of Health COVID-19 website. “Despite criticisms they don’t go far enough, Gov. Ron DeSantis has touted the state’s coronavirus data reports as some of the most transparent in the country. And on Sunday, the Department of Health got a boost from Dr. Deborah Birx.”

• Bay News 9: Prom Was Canceled, So Their Parents Planned Their Own. “Two Pinellas County high school seniors had a magical prom Saturday night, thanks to their parents, who stepped in after prom was canceled at their schools.”


From NPR News

• World: At Least 16 Killed, Including Police Officer, In Nova Scotia Shootings

• World: Calls To Ban Wildlife Markets Worldwide Gain Steam Amid Pandemic

• National: On 25th Anniversary Of Oklahoma City Bombing, Officials Find Lessons For Today

• National: 10 Years After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Industry Says It’s Better Prepared

• Politics: Capitol Hill, White House Officials Work To Release Pandemic Relief Funds

• Politics: Who Is Watching Over Coronavirus Bailout Spending?

• Business: How To Help The People Who (Used To) Help You

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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