The Point, Nov. 19, 2020: The Reasons Why Florida’s COVID-19 Deaths Are Currently Lower During This Case Surge


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• WUFT News: What Is The Purpose Of A Groundwater Recharge Wetland Park? Alachua County’s Planning Agency Just Approved One. “The Alachua County Local Planning Agency and Planning Commission on Wednesday voted in favor of a proposed development for a 75-acre groundwater recharge wetland park in the western part of the county.”

• WUFT News: Malala Yousafzai Discusses Girls’ Education, Pandemic, U.S. Election In UF Event. “After years of campaigning internationally for greater access to education for girls, Malala Yousafzai took her final classes at Oxford University like other students everywhere – on Zoom. A Pakistani who in 2014 became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, at age 17, Yousafzai, these days has moved from fighting with the Taliban in 2009 to speaking about the pandemic in 2020. Cultural norms and poor infrastructure already had 130 million girls out of school, she told 1,000 people watching a virtual event hosted by a University of Florida organization on Wednesday.”

• WUFT News: Behind The Screen: Ken Eats Gainesville On Life Before, After Pub Sub Controversy. “Before Ken was eating Gainesville and arguing with online trolls, he lived in Little Havana, a neighborhood of Miami, with his two younger siblings and his parents. Peng’s parents immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong in 1985, and he was born one year later. His father worked at a butcher shop before opening Chung Hing Oriental Market in 1992.”

• WCJB: Gainesville Masonic Lodge re-dedicates new building; Keith Perry to renovate old building. “The old Masonic Lodge, which is one of the more historic buildings in downtown Gainesville, was put up for sale just over a year ago. In February of 2020, the building was purchased by State Senator Keith Perry.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Despite grim projections, UF sees applicant uptick. “The University of Florida saw a slight increase in freshman applications for next year, overcoming officials’ pessimistic projections of a steep deficit for fall 2021, admission numbers show.”

• WMFE: Ocala Christmas Parade gets go-ahead from City Council. “Spectators would be asked to wear masks and keep their distance. The county’s coronavirus positivity rate rose to 7.4% last week. On Monday it exceeded 12%.”

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Around the state today

• WUSF: So Far, Florida Seeing Fewer Deaths During Latest Coronavirus Surge. “Cases of the coronavirus are spiking again in Florida, as are hospitalizations. But deaths have yet to peak like they did during a similar surge this summer.”

• Associated Press: Masks, Testing, Contact Tracing: Florida Mayors Plead With Governor To Take Action On Virus. “Five Florida mayors on Wednesday said they were extremely concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state, and begged Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his approach to the virus in hopes of slowing the spread.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida’s State GOP Leaders Consider Climate Change Plans. “Planning work to address flooding from rising sea levels, similar to how the state maps out road and bridge projects for five years, is being considered by the new Republican leaders of the Florida House and Senate.”

• Naples Daily News ($): Perils of plastic: Florida sea life at risk over ‘needless’ problem, study shows. “For the first time, a study produced by the nonprofit ocean conservation organization Oceana reveals the extent of how harmful plastic can be to marine mammals.”

• NPR News: Florida Looks At A Winter Without Canadians. “In Florida, this is the time of year for “snowbirds,” people who flock south when the weather turns cold up north. Many own homes or condos. Others rent or come with their own RV’s. But with COVID-19, this year, some of Florida’s most faithful seasonal visitors — Canadians — are staying home.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Pasco’s sheriff uses grades and abuse histories to label schoolchildren potential criminals. “The Pasco Sheriff’s Office keeps a secret list of kids it thinks could “fall into a life of crime” based on factors like whether they’ve been abused or gotten a D or an F in school, according to the agency’s internal intelligence manual.”

• Bay News 9: Florida’s Education Chief Working to Extend Remote Learning Option into 2021. “At a State Board of Education meeting in Tallahassee on Wednesday, Richard Corcoran said he’s working on preparing an extension of the current Emergency Order and he hopes to have it finished by the end of the month, possibly even before Thanksgiving.”

• Politico: ‘I’m not a f—ing socialist’: Florida Democrats are having a postelection meltdown. “After suffering crushing losses from the top of the ballot down, the state party now is mired in a civil war that could have profound consequences for future elections.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): These South Florida hospitals will be among the first with the COVID-19 vaccine. “Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami will be among the first five hospitals across Florida to store the vaccine while they wait for final approval to use it, officials said Wednesday. The vaccine stored by hospitals will be whichever the government approves first, possibly Pfizer’s. The other three hospitals are AdventHealth Orlando, formerly Florida Hospital Orlando, as well as Tampa General Hospital and UF Health Jacksonville. The first vaccines would start arriving in mid-December and another shipment is expected in January.”

• WJCT: Energy Efficiency Jobs Plummet By More Than 18K In Florida During Pandemic. “Prior to this rapid decline, energy efficiency jobs had been growing at twice the rate of overall nationwide employment since 2017, reaching nearly 2.4 million workers at the end of 2019. The industry was projected to add another 71,000 jobs to the economy this year.”

From NPR News

• National: As U.S. Reaches 250,000 Deaths From COVID-19, A Long Winter Is Coming

• National: Florida Just Passed A $15 Minimum Wage. Is The Time Right For A Big Nationwide Hike?

• Business: 12 Million To Lose Jobless Benefits The Day After Christmas Unless Congress Acts

• Business: ‘Without Our Work, Facebook Is Unusable’: Content Moderators Demand Safer Offices

• Books: 2020’s National Book Awards Strive For Inclusivity

• Science: NASA Satellite To Measure Global Sea Level Rise

• Science: Scientists Discover Outer Space Isn’t Pitch Black After All

• Politics: Biden’s Win Shows Rural-Urban Divide Has Grown Since 2016

• Politics: Pelosi Reelected Speaker By House Democrats Despite Party’s Losses

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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