Subscribe to The Point to invite us into your inbox with the most important Florida news from Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.
Today’s top Florida stories
• NPR News: Florida Reports A Record With More Than 21,000 COVID-19 Cases On Saturday. “Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the last week, Florida saw a 50% increase weekly in new cases, as the state reported 110,477 cases from July 23 to July 29, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.”
• Associated Press: Florida breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations. “The previous record was from more than a year ago, July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations became widespread, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations.”
• Florida Politics: Rural, North Floridians lagging further behind in COVID-19 vaccinations. “Florida’s least-vaccinated counties through Thursday were Holmes, 26%; Hamilton County, 30%; Liberty and Suwannee counties, 31%; Calhoun, Dixie, and Washington counties, 32%; Baker and Gilchrist counties, at 33%; and Lafayette and Taylor counties, at 35%.”
• Ocala Gazette: Marion reopens COVID-19 test site amid surge. “The site at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, served as a testing center previously until the DOH closed it down on May 26 after the number of local cases dropped significantly.”
• News Service of Florida: Publix to again require employees to wear masks. “Publix required masks earlier in the pandemic but is reinstating them after guidance issued Tuesday by the CDC. That guidance said all people, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in areas of ‘substantial or high’ transmission.”
• WFSU: DeSantis Issues Executive Order Banning Mandatory Masks In Schools. “To mask or not to mask? Gov. Ron DeSantis says that’s a personal choice and he’s signed an executive order to ensure it stays that way. The question is one parents, teachers and students are grappling with as they prepare to head back to school next month.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida has disbursed 2 percent of rent aid as eviction moratorium ending. “The state of Florida has received more than $870 million from the federal government to make landlords whole and keep renters in their homes during the pandemic, and expects to receive a grand total of more than $1.56 billion as more money is distributed. It’s given out around 2 percent of what it’s gotten so far.”
• Mainstreet Daily News: Applicant withdraws from West End property. “After much protest by residents of the Villages of West End and adjacent developments, who paid premium prices to live along the green space, the future of the now defunct course owned by Paul Min is uncertain. The property … remains overgrown, run down and listed for sale for $6.25 million.”
• Florida Politics: Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum to lead sheriffs association. “McCallum, whose law enforcement career started in 1969, succeeds Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz to lead the association of 67 county sheriffs in Florida. McCallum served as Vice President under Schultz.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Handwritten letters are all Florida prisoners have left. Now FDC wants to take that away. “Looking to curb contraband coming into prisons, the Florida Department of Corrections has proposed a new rule that would digitize all incoming ‘routine mail’ for inmates, affecting things like personal letters, celebratory cards and photos. The proposal’s full text was first published on May 18.”
• WTSP: If Florida competed alone in the Olympics, it’d rank 7th in gold medals. “Seven out of eight golds were won by Florida natives and Team USA swimmers Bobby Finke and Caeleb Dressel. They also happen to be University of Florida Gators.”
Do you appreciate local journalism?
WUFT is here for you with vital coverage during complex times. We exist to serve north central Florida and are committed to keeping you up to date with the latest news from your community, the state and the world. If you’re able to do so, please consider making a donation to WUFT to keep us going strong.
From NPR News
• Health: Why Sweat Is A Human Superpower
• National: It’s In — And Big: Senators Unveil $1T Infrastructure Proposal (via AP)
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.