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The Point, May 1, 2020: Alachua County Confirms Three New Deaths Linked To Long-Term Care Facilities

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Alachua County yesterday reported the largest number of deaths the county has seen in a single day. The three new fatalities are all linked to long-term care facilities, according to Alachua County Department of Health Director Paul Myers.

• A WUFT News Special Report: Standing On Dignity — In Its End To End Homelessness, Gainesville Begins Dismantling An Encampment That Had Become A 'Broken Piece' In A System of Care

• WUFT News: From The Front Lines Podcast. "Dr. Sarah McKune and Dr. Eric Nelson, two University of Florida researchers leading a study on the role children play in community transmission of COVID-19, discuss what they hope to learn and how their study could be useful during future outbreaks."

• Suwannee Democrat: 130th confirmed COVID case in Suwannee County announced. "The newest case involves a 36-year-old male and is not connected to an existing case... The outbreak at Suwannee Health led county officials to request additional assistance from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office."

• Gainesville Sun: Sanctuaries cope with falling income, volunteers. "Alachua County is home to sanctuaries for primates, farm animals, horses and more. Some are dipping into reserves as they try to maintain the animals and the grounds with less money coming in and without the volunteers who ordinarily help them."

• WUFT News: Gainesville Charter Review Commission Rejects Proposal To Increase Salaries for City Leaders. "The proposal would have increased the mayor’s salary from $44,209.91 to $70,550.06 in yearly increments between 2021 and 2025. The city commissioners’ pay would have gone incrementally from $34,736.32 to $60,550.07 during the same period."

• WUFT News: College Student Accused In Fatal Downtown Crash Blocks Away From Earlier Wreck He Caused. "Adam Mandel, 19, of Weston, Fla., was driving as fast as 80 mph on West University Avenue, when he lost control on a Thursday evening in January and crashed his Lexus sports car into a guardrail and hit a utility pole. Mandel’s passenger was his 20-year-old girlfriend, Kassandra Guzman-Ramirez of Weston, who died from her injuries."

• Programming note: The Point team is taking a short summer break next week, with editions planned for Monday, Wednesday and Friday as our newsroom prepares for months more of covering Florida's hopeful recovery from COVID-19. Many thanks to all of you who read and sent feedback about our extra weekend editions during these past urgent six weeks. We appreciate you and hope you stay well.

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Around the state today

• WUFT News: On The Brink: Uncertainty Reigns In A Household Of Health Workers. "Both my parents worry that if America begins reopening too soon, the nation may face another surge in COVID-19 cases and the virus may continue to spread at a rapid rate. They worry they will both get called in for service. How will that reshape our lives? And what if they fall sick?"

• WJCT: Some First Coast Restaurant Owners Have Reservations About Reopening Dining Rooms. "Additionally, many restaurateurs are concerned about unknowns surrounding their potential liability, such as what happens if a dine-in patron goes on to test positive for COVID-19 and contact tracing comes back to their establishment?"

• Miami Herald: On first day that parks reopen, Miami Beach issues 652 warnings for no face mask. "Miami Beach police reported that 652 people were issued warnings Wednesday for not wearing face masks while at the city’s newly reopened recreational spaces. Additionally, 145 people were removed from parks after closing time, and 23 social distance warnings were issued."

• St. Augustine Record: St. Johns County to lift beach restrictions on Monday. "The county had closed beaches, but they have been open for limited hours. But the beaches will be open at all times starting Monday with the new announcement."

• Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Coronavirus Florida: Sarasota County to lift beach restrictions. "After a deluge of criticism and a week after beaches initially reopened, Sarasota County will lift its parking restrictions and allow beachgoers to bring chairs and coolers. Those changes will go into effect on Monday, although visitors will not be permitted to gather in groups of more than 10."

• Florida Politics: Unemployed Floridians will again have to certify they are looking for work. "When phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis' reopening plan begins on Monday, the plan will not extend the executive order that let people obtain unemployment benefits without confirming every two weeks that they’re searching for work. That order will instead lapse May 8, the final day of the public health emergency.".

• Sun Sentinel: Fort Lauderdale moving the homeless into hotel amid coronavirus. "Fort Lauderdale officials are ready to spend up to $200,000 to provide shelter for the homeless for 30 days in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic."

• Florida Politics: Floridians largely approve of Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan, share cautious approach. "Floridians mostly approve of the Governor’s approach to reopening and increasingly believe the state is getting its COVID-19 response right, but they remain cautious about returning things to 'normal' too quickly."

• Politico: Rick Scott escalates feud with Andrew Cuomo. "Scott proceeded to list a series of questions for Cuomo’s next briefing, implying the New York governor mismanaged the Empire State’s funds and asking what steps the state has taken to protect its 'underfunded pension system.'"

• Palm Beach Post: Pieces of Halley’s comet will shower space in next few days"Halley’s comet, although not visible again until 2061, reminds us of its presence twice a year with the Eta Aquariid meteor shower in May... The shower favors the southern hemisphere because the point in the sky where the meteors appear to come from is in the constellation Aquarius, which is higher in the sky in the southern hemisphere."

From NPR News

• World: A Mexican 'Lucha Libre' Wrestler Is Sewing Masks To Fight Coronavirus

• National: NYC Subways To Close Every Night For Disinfection

• Health: Can Pets Contract The Coronavirus? A Veterinarian Answers Listener Questions

• Science: Fauci Says It's 'Doable' To Have Millions Of Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine By January

• Business: Passengers Must Wear Masks On Major Airlines To Cut Spread Of Coronavirus

• National: Though Closed To The Public, Bryce Canyon Still Teems With Life

Kristen is a web editor and reporter for WUFT News. She can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing kaltus@ufl.edu. Follow her on social media @kristenaltus.