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Today’s top Florida stories
• Florida Storms: Tropical Storm Fred Forms in Caribbean and is a Potential Threat to Florida This Weekend. “The storm has the potential to affect a large portion of Florida this weekend with heavy rain and high winds, although the National Hurricane Center says the ‘magnitude, location and timing of those impacts are still uncertain.'”
• Associated Press: Ambulances wait outside some Florida hospitals as COVID infections spread. “More than 47% of ICU beds were taken by about 3,000 coronavirus patients. That number has nearly tripled in the last three weeks. At no other time during the pandemic have intensive care units seen a percentage of COVID patients as high as in the last two days.”
• Gainesville Sun ($): Florida schools chief to investigate Alachua schools over mask rules. “Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in a Monday letter to Superintendent Carlee Simon and Alachua County School Board Chair Leanetta McNealy noted his ‘grave concern’ over the county’s response to the state’s rules. It demanded a response from them by Tuesday evening outlining how the school system intends to comply with rules developed by the Florida Department of Health and the Florida State Board of Education Aug. 6. In the letter, Corcoran also threatens to withhold funds that pay salaries to the school board and superintendent.”
• WJCT: Catholic Schools In Northeast Florida Reinstate Mask Mandate. “In the span of two weeks, the diocese implemented, rescinded, and then put back into place its mask mandate amid an order from Gov. Ron DeSantis and record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.”
• Miami Herald ($): ‘We will not switch.’ Florida school officials defy DeSantis over pay cut threats. “At least three Florida school districts are defying Gov. Ron DeSantis as they impose mask mandates with some medical exceptions, even as his administration threatens to withhold the pay of superintendents and school board members that go against his orders.”
• News4Jax: Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams tests positive for COVID-19. “In its statement, the Sheriff’s Office noted that Williams received “the full complement of the vaccine” before he tested positive. A spokesperson said the sheriff is recovering at home.”
• Tampa Bay Times ($): Red Tide is further offshore. Thank the wind and sea currents. “Recent sampling shows a bloom that lines up with Madeira Beach and Treasure Island. But beachgoers may not notice.”
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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.