The Point, April 28, 2020: Slew Of Florida Beaches, Parks On Path To Reopening


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• From our Fresh Take Florida team: “In one of the most significant federal trials in Florida – a voting rights case that may affect the outcome of the 2020 presidential election – the courtroom in Tallahassee on Monday was eerily empty.” (WUFT News)

• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. “Peaceful Paths Executive Director Dr. Theresa Beachy speaks about how the domestic violence center is working through restrictions to help survivors during these trying times.”

• WUFT News: Gainesville City Commission Passes $3.2M Coronavirus Relief Package For Households and Businesses. “The relief money is to be spent evenly between local small businesses and households whose income has been affected by the spread of COVID-19.”

• WUFT News: ‘A Great Thing For The Community’: Acts of Kindness Spread Across Area During COVID-19. “The coronavirus pandemic has led to an eruption of kind acts across north central Florida.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Nursing homes linked to 45 county COVID-19 cases. “Forty-five Alachua County COVID-19 cases, including at least one death, have been connected to long-term care facilities.”

• Citrus County Chronicle: Chamber, churches, nonprofits, others may play role in county reopening.“Gov. Ron DeSantis recently formed a Re-Open Florida Task Force and asked each local chamber of commerce to advise local leaders on business issues.”

• Suwannee Democrat: Suwannee County up to 118 confirmed COVID-19 cases.“There have been 30 positive patients from the county hospitalized and 11 deaths, all residents at Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center, a long-term care facility, according to health department data.”

• Ocala Star-Banner: Marion County planning in-person high school graduations.“Marion County’s high school graduates may get a chance to walk in an in-person ceremony, though it will be scaled back to maintain social distancing mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Around the state today

• WUFT News: Staff Sergeant To Be Indicted In $30,000 Air Force Thefts.“The military is poised to indict an Air Force staff sergeant on criminal charges of stealing more than $30,000 worth of government property from hurricane-damaged Tyndall Air Force Base east of Panama City, according to federal court records and interviews.”

• Tampa Bay Times: Florida will reopen in ‘baby steps,’ Ron DeSantis says in Tampa. “A state task force is expected to deliver recommendations this week on how and when to lift restrictions.”

•  Miami Herald: Miami-Dade reopening parks, marinas, golf courses this week. Miami waiting.“On Wednesday Miami-Dade’s six-week closure order for parks will officially end, replaced by a new set of rules aimed at limiting close encounters during the coronavirus pandemic. That won’t mean all parks will be available, though, as Miami opts to keep city parks closed longer.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): When beaches reopen, there will be dos and don’ts to avoid coronavirus.“South Florida will reopen county parks and several other destinations for outdoor fun Wednesday, although the beaches will remain closed.”

• Lakeland Ledger ($): Lakeland to reopen most parks beginning Friday.“The City Commission voted unanimously Monday in favor of a gradual opening of the city’s “passive parks” beginning Friday, coinciding with the scheduled expiration of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ safer-at-home orders.”

• Fort Myers-Press ($): Fort Myers Beach council decides 3-2 to reopen beaches Tuesday for residents only.“Sitting or reclining on the beach or use of beach paraphernalia (towels, chairs, etc.) would be prohibited.”

• Pensacola News Journal ($): How will Pensacola measure whether it’s too soon to reopen?“Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday that the city would begin its first phase of reopening the city. Here’s how they’ll measure its effectiveness.”

• Florida Politics: Unemployment: 35% of Florida claims processed, 20% paid.“Through Sunday, the state had paid out $497,8 million in unemployment benefits, according to the DEO dashboard. That’s nearly half a billion dollars.”

• WLRN: Inmate Coronavirus Cases In Miami-Dade Have Exploded.“The number of inmates in Miami-Dade County jails who have tested positive for COVID-19 has exploded in recent days.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): An 80-car parade for 100-year-old Tallahassee man’s birthday.“Rod Duggar turned 100 Monday. His family…planned a drive-by party where family and friends in over 80 cars paraded around the block in front of the church to wish him a happy birthday.”

From NPR News

• National: IRS Tells Thousands To Return To Work, With Their Own Face Masks

• National: Calif. Governor Warns That Packed Beaches Put Coronavirus Pandemic Progress At Risk

• Health: We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned

• World: Germany Backs Away From Compiling Coronavirus Contacts In A Central Database

• World: New Zealand Says It Has Won ‘Battle’ Against COVID-19

About Gabriella Paul

Gabriella Paul is a reporter for WUFT. She can be reached at

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