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Today’s top Florida stories
• News4Jax: Mayo Clinic among major health care groups calling for mandatory vaccines for staff. “Mayo Clinic released a statement that they were proud that the ‘vast majority’ of its staff was vaccinated, it would require the rest to be fully vaccinated or complete a ‘declination process’ by Sept. 17. Those who decline must complete an educational module and wear masks at all times while on the Mayo Campus.”
• Palm Beach Daily News ($): As COVID-19 cases surge, Palm Beach imposes new mask mandate and social distancing measures. “With statewide COVID-19 cases surging to levels not seen since January, the town of Palm Beach announced Monday that it would require people to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing while indoors on town property, regardless of vaccination status, and called an emergency Town Council meeting for Tuesday.”
• Ocala Gazette: COVID-19 surge continues in Marion. “Local cases jumped from 652 for the week ending July 16 to 1,056 cases as of July 23. The positivity rate also jumped from 14.7% to 18.5% over the same period.”
• WFLA-Tampa: ‘My hair is on fire’: Polk County’s top health official warns of surge, quadrupling COVID-19 cases. “There were 2,500 new coronavirus cases in the county last week, she said. ‘Of our recent cases, it’s estimated that over 95 percent are unvaccinated,’ (Dr. Joy Jackson, director of Florida Department of Health in Polk County) said.”
• Miami Herald ($): Police identify final missing victim from Surfside condo collapse, which killed 98. “Miami-Dade County has identified the final known victim of the Surfside condominium collapse, capping more than a month of recovering bodies and remains of the missing from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South complex.”
• The Alligator: UF welcomes first Ph.D. plant breeding program, first in Florida. “Led by newly established plant breeding graduate program director Patricio Muñoz, the program will bring students hands-on experience in the fields and labs ensuring crops resists diseases, fruits taste good and plants emit a pleasant aroma.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida is buying $300 million in land. It’s for the environment — and developers. “In a reversal of the state’s current land-buying policy, lawmakers this year wrote in the budget that anyone whose development rights are purchased with the $300 million can also use their land for wetland ‘mitigation banking’ — an obscure environmental program that some environmentalists believe is bad for the state’s wetlands.”
• News4Jax: UF Health Jacksonville CEO remembered as a family man & proud father of 3. “Dr. Haley, 56, made an immediate impact in Jacksonville after taking over UF Health Jacksonville in 2018, but he didn’t originally start out dreaming of a job in medicine. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and an article from Pitt Med states that growing up in Pittsburgh, Dr. Haley ‘dreamed of becoming the first African American sportscaster on network television.'”
• News Service of Florida: Gas Prices Dip Below $3 As Demand Holds Steady. “Average Florida gasoline prices are back below $3 a gallon but are still up 91 cents from a year ago.”
• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Polk County continues to rank #1 in Florida for shelter animals killed. “Florida currently ranks fourth in the nation for the number of animals euthanized in 2020, according to the Best Friends organization. While many animal control agencies are on track to becoming no-kill shelters, there’s one county that has led the state in euthanization rates for at least three years now — that’s Polk County.”
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.