The Point, Dec. 8, 2021: The first known case of omicron variant in Florida has been detected


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Today’s top Florida stories

• WUSF: Florida reports its first case of the omicron variant, at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. “The case was detected at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. A spokeswoman from the VA hospital said the patient has mild symptoms and had recently returned from international travel.”

• Ocala Star-Banner ($): ‘We’ll never get to know just how good he was’: Kentucky Derby champ Medina Spirit has died. “For Christy Whitman, owner of Whitman Sales in Ocala, 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s legacy ‘should have been a Seabiscuit fairytale story.’ After the 3-year-old suddenly died of a heart attack on Monday while working out at Santa Anita Park in California, however, she fears the Ocala-bred horse’s story ‘will fade away in a swirl of speculation and controversy.'”

• WTSP-Tampa: Gov. Ron DeSantis announces $270 million toward sea level rise resilience. “The 3-year plan includes $270 million dedicated from the state’s budget to fund more than 76 projects to upgrade our infrastructure. It’s all about fortifying our buildings, roads and bridges to protect Florida’s communities in the event of a storm, according to DeSantis.”

• Florida Politics: ‘Let these folks breathe’: Gov. DeSantis urges businesses to unmask employees. “Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted businesses Tuesday that require staff to wear masks while patrons roam mask-free, arguing the suggested rule disparity is symbolic of a ‘two-tiered society’ wedged against the ‘servant class.'”

• WUFT News: As flu season begins, national blood shortages continue. “…the need for blood donations this year is more critical than most. The Red Cross announced that it is experiencing a critical blood supply shortage this year, with its lowest supply of blood in more than a decade heading into the holidays and into flu season.”

• New York Times ($): Manatees, Facing a Crisis, Will Get a Bit of Help: Extra Feeding. “As manatee deaths spike and Florida rescue centers fill up with manatees so malnourished that they need medical intervention, federal and state wildlife officials are taking an unprecedented step for the species: They will provide food for hundreds of manatees at a key location on the state’s east coast in an urgent effort to get them through the winter.”

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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

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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