The Point, Jan. 5, 2021: Alachua County Answers Questions About Local COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

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• Alachua County: Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccines. “Counties and cities have no direct role or authority in the vaccine decision-making process; however, Alachua County and our cities stand ready to assist in any way possible.”

City of Gainesville: “Alachua County Commission Chair Ken Cornell is hosting a telephone town hall Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. to discuss the safety, efficacy and distribution of coronavirus vaccines in our community. Joining Chair Cornell will be City of Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe; Florida Department of Health Director Paul Myers; University of Florida Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and President of UF Health Dr. David Nelson; and North Florida Regional Medical Center Chief Operations Officer John Gerhold.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Alachua County residents asked to ‘remain patient’ for vaccines. “Some 12,000 Alachua County residents over 65 years old who have already registered to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from the local health department may have to wait a couple more weeks before receiving their first dose.”

• Spectrum News: Hernando County Among Bay Area Locations Booked for COVID Vaccine. “The Hernando County Health Department received more than 10,000 phone calls since they put out the sign in front of their lawn just last week. Now, they’re forced to have to turn residents away until more vaccines can come in because they’re booked up at full capacity.”

• WUFT News: Unseated: Why Tyrone Oliver Won An Ocala City Council Race But Never Held Office. “Tyrone Oliver won a city council race in Ocala. But a decades-old felony conviction came back to haunt him. … Oliver’s clemency case was still pending as of early December 2020. He has spent nearly $10,000 on legal fees, hoping to get his case heard. He knows he is lucky to be able to pay those fees, as many others aren’t so lucky.”

• Florida Politics: Three Florida members of Congress signal they won’t certify Joe Biden win. “Reps. Kat Cammack and Byron Donalds both appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday and said they would challenge the vote total. … Cammack said she wouldn’t accept that outcome and suggested (without evidence) that six states had too many election irregularities. She argued the Constitution required Congress to reject results when state lawmakers fail to address issues.”

• Tampa Bay Times ($): Documentary on The Villages shows it is not a utopia for everyone. “Some describe it as utopia. But the 83-minute story pivots to another point of view on what is billed as the nation’s largest retirement community. The Villages spans Lake, Sumter, and Marion and is home to 120,000.”


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Around the state today

• Orlando Sentinel ($): DeSantis warns Florida hospitals to step up COVID-19 vaccinations or see doses cut. “At a news conference at the Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital in Longwood on Monday, DeSantis cited the hospital system’s expansion of the vaccine program as an example of what he wants other hospitals to do across the state. … DeSantis did not elaborate on which hospitals he thinks are lagging.”

• Florida Politics: COVID-19 cases are surging in three major South Florida counties. “Monday’s newest report confirms a troubling trend in the region. New cases are up significantly in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — with those counties showing week-to-week increases ranging from 29% in Miami-Dade to more than 60% in Broward.”

• FLKeysNews ($): How do you party on New Year’s in Key West during a COVID curfew? Police had a reminder. “So instead of New Year’s ‘drops’ and early morning boozing on Duval Street, the city’s curfew, meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 during one of the busiest times of the year, shut down businesses by 10 p.m. and forced people off the streets.”

• Palm Beach Post ($): ‘It’s a disgrace’: Palm Beach County seniors rage over rollout of coronavirus vaccine. “The county had to scrap its initial vaccine rollout plan, which included first responders, after Gov. Ron DeSantis on Dec. 23 unexpectedly announced seniors would join healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff at the front of the line. In the county, that is roughly 400,000 more people.”

• News Service of Florida: U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Florida-Georgia Water Battle. “After years of battling between Florida and Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court next month will again take up a dispute about water in a river system that links the two states.”

• WPBF: Extended jobless benefits become available in Florida. “Extended unemployment benefits included in the latest federal stimulus package are starting to become available for Floridians out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, the state Department of Economic Opportunity said Monday.”

• WUSF: Pandemic Causing Relapses And New Symptoms For Veterans With PTSD. “Months of physical distancing and pandemic anxiety have been especially tough on veterans who were already dealing with post-traumatic stress and other combat-related injuries.”

• Florida Today ($): Brevard union joins push for teacher vaccines as DeSantis resists calls to change course. “The Brevard Federation of Teachers has joined the list of Florida teachers’ unions demanding that educators and other front-line essential workers be given priority for the COVID-19 vaccine, in accordance with federal recommendations.”

• CBS Miami: It’s Getting More Expensive To Live In South Florida. “In Fort Lauderdale, the average rent is almost $2,000 a month. Miami’s average is slightly under $1,700 a month. In Coral Gables, you’re looking at $2,500 and change a month. Doral is just over $2,000, while Homestead is a bargain at about $1,300 a month.”

• Law.com: Florida Supreme Court Disbars Attorney Who’s Been Dead More Than a Year. “The attorney was disbarred in December. But according to an official death certificate provided by the Florida Department of Health, the lawyer died in October 2019, before she could respond to The Florida Bar inquiries.”


From NPR News

• Politics: ‘Definitely A Civil War’: Trump’s Demands Splinter GOP Ahead Of Georgia Vote

• Health: L.A. Paramedics Told Not To Transport Some Patients With Low Chance Of Survival

• Health: Pharmacist Who Spoiled More Than 500 Vaccine Doses Said He Thought They Were ‘Unsafe’

• Health: FDA Warns Health Officials Not To Mess With COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Schedule

• Health: Hospitals Forced To Be More Transparent About Pricing. Will That Save You Money?

• National: Trump’s Census Plan In Peril As Bureau Expects February Release Of Count Results

• National: Ohio Governor Signs ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law After Suggesting He’d Veto It

• World: British Court Rejects U.S. Request To Extradite WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

• Science: To ‘Keep Sharp’ This Year, Keep Learning, Advises Neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta

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 emagoc@wuft.org.

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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