The Point, Sept. 8, 2021: County-Level COVID-19 Death Data Remains A Mystery In Florida

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The stories near you

• WUFT News: Alachua County Commissioners Extend COVID-19 Emergency Order. “Commissioners gathered for a special meeting to discuss the extension of the local state of emergency and short-term emergency order. This conversation led to the topic of the University of Florida’s football game Saturday against Florida Atlantic University and the lack of masking among the crowd.”

• Ocala Gazette: COVID-19 cases fall at public schools, overall. “Marion County Public Schools started the year on Aug. 10 with a mask-optional policy. But in response to the overall surge in cases, however, the Marion County School Board implemented a stricter mask policy. This one allowed for parents to opt out for any reason, but parents had to opt out in writing. That new policy went into effect on Aug. 17.”

• FOX35 Orlando: Ocala Police Department headquarters temporarily closed due to COVID. “The department says it’s temporarily closing as a precaution.”

• The Alligator: Pandemic freshmen and sophomores detail their on-campus journeys. “The pandemic gap left students keen to explore, connect and find their place in Gainesville whether through social media, crowded buses or places of worship.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV nonstop flights to Miami return. “Nonstop flights to Miami from Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) will return on Oct. 7 with American Airlines after the COVID-19 pandemic shut the connection down.”


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Around the state

• Fort Myers News-Press ($): How many people have died of COVID-19 in your Florida community? State won’t tell you. “We know that Florida last week reported 2,345 COVID-19 deaths for the state. But, almost uniquely throughout the United States, Florida has not reported deaths at the county level for three months. The intensity of this worst wave of the pandemic in a given locale is anyone’s guess.”

• NPR News: Fauci Says DeSantis Is ‘Completely Incorrect’ To Call Vaccine A Mere Personal Choice. “Vaccines have been the solution to public health crises such as smallpox, polio and measles, Fauci said — but they rely on wide adoption to work, he added. ‘When you’re dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn’t only about you,” Fauci said. “There’s a societal responsibility that we all have.'”

• Miami Herald ($): After 13 colleagues die from COVID, Miami-Dade teachers union sets up vaccine pop-up. “The 13 employees who recently died from COVID-19 complications include teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and security monitors, according to the union. One of the virus victims, Lillian Smith, a teacher at Dr. William A. Chapman Elementary School in Naranja, never got to see her students on the first day of school. Her daughter Lakisha Williams, a school cafeteria manager, also died in August.”

• WUSF: USF New Home For Tracking Florida Nursing Shortages. “USF is now home to the Florida Center for Nursing, where research is conducted on the supply and demand of the nursing field. … Lawmakers established the center in 2001 at the University of Central Florida. It closed last year due to a lack of funding — but has now been revived with $800,000 from the Florida Legislature.”

• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis floats legislative package to address police recruitment crisis. “Speaking in Lakeland, the Republican Governor decried the ‘defund the police’ movement and vowed to support cops and thicken their ranks. To do so, he announced a legislative package to bolster recruitment, including a $5,000 signing bonus for all newcomers. The one-time bonus, he said, would apply to new officers as well as out-of-state officers who transfer to departments in Florida.”

• WLRN: As Mysterious Disease Kills Florida’s Reefs, A Massive ‘Noah’s Ark’ Effort Tries To Save Them. “Stony coral disease has scorched the already struggling reefs of South Florida and caused some species like Florida’s picturesque pillar coral to go locally extinct. … The threat is so serious that it has produced an unprecedented national research and ‘Noah’s Ark’ rescue effort, where almost 2,000 corals have been pulled out of Florida’s waters and quarantined in aquariums around the country.”

• WJCT: Volunteers Will Count Dead Birds To Make Downtown Jacksonville Safer During Migration. “Birds keep crashing into Jacksonville buildings, and local conservation groups are seeking volunteers this month to help reduce the number of injuries and deaths.”

• New York Times ($): Developers Plan to Demolish Al Capone’s Mansion. Some Want It Preserved. “The gangster’s former refuge on Palm Island, Fla., near Miami Beach, is dividing residents and city officials: Should it be razed to make way for a modern home?”


From NPR News

• Health: It’s Time For A Flu Shot. Here’s What You Need To Know

• Health: New Studies Find Evidence Of ‘Superhuman’ Immunity To COVID-19 In Some Individuals

• Health: Attitudes Around COVID Can Add Even More Pain And Anger For Those Grieving Loved Ones

• National: What It’s Like Inside The U.S. Processing Center Welcoming Thousands Of Afghans

• National: Families Of 9/11 Victims May Get Answers When Classified Government Records Release

• World: Mexico’s Supreme Court Has Voted To Decriminalize Abortion

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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