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Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Latest On Coronavirus: Cases Pass 38,000, What Tampa Bay Malls Are Open, And More

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WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

Total positive cases of coronavirus as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, according to the Florida Department of Health:

37,002 – Florida Residents | 982 – Non-Florida Residents | 1,539 – Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

NEWSLETTER: Sign Up For Coronavirus Updates From Health News Florida

Outbreaks At Tampa Bay Nursing Homes

Nursing home patients account for more than a third of Florida’s COVID-19 deaths and the greater Tampa Bay region has some of the state’s highest death tolls.

Four of the five nursing homes with the most deaths in Florida are located in Pinellas, Manatee and Polk counties, newly released state figures show.

The deadliest outbreak in the area – and tied for the deadliest in the state – is at Freedom Square of Seminole. A state report shows 13 residents and one staff member died after contracting COVID-19 there, but other media reports put the figure at 20 deaths. Dozens more tested positive at the facility and had to be transferred to hospitals. [Read more]

-- Julio Ochoa

Catholic Masses To Resume

Some Catholics across Tampa Bay will soon be able to attend public Masses again. Just not on Sundays.

Bishop Gregory Parkes, with the Diocese of St. Petersburg, issued a statement saying the churches can slowly begin the process of returning to public worship.

"My prayer is that whether you join us in person for Mass or stay at home for health reasons, we will all be joyfully united and present to the Lord in prayer, worship and service," Parkes said in a statement

Churches can gather from Monday through Saturday starting May 11. They must adhere to social distancing guidelines, and only allow for 25 percent capacity. [Read more]

-- Carl Lisciandrello

Malls Reopening Across Tampa Bay

Several malls across the Tampa Bay area have either reopened or will today ... or in the near future.

International Plaza in Tampa and the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota are reopening today. Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Tampa Premium Outlets in Lutz and Ellenton Premium Outlets reopened on Monday. 

The locations will offer limited hours, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some retailers also will choose to remain closed. [Read more]

-- Carl Lisciandrello

Derby Lane Will Remain Closed To Public

After announcing earlier this week that Derby Lane will reopen greyhound racing to patrons, it now says it will remain closed to the public.

In a news release on Tuesday, officials say spectators will not be allowed on property when live racing resumes Friday.

In addition, the Derby Lane Poker Room will not reopen.

Live racing can be viewed online on the Greyhound Channel.

-- Carl Lisciandrello

Child Psychologist On Kids And Coronavirus

Children of all ages are having a hard time processing how coronavirus has changed their lives.

Psychologist Kimberly Renk said parents can help kids organize those feelings. But the University of Central Florida professor said parents first need to assess how they're being affected by the pandemic.

“Am I having a struggle? Do I need to do anything for me to be more effective with my children?” Renk said. “And then take care of themselves first, and that then puts them in a safe place where they can then help their children manage whatever feelings they are having.”

Renk shared her advice Tuesday on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

-- Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Publix Thrives With $11.2 Billion Quarterly Sales 

Brick and mortar stores have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. But as an essential business, Publix Supermarkets has thrived.  

The chain, which has more than 1,200 stores in seven states in the southeast, reported sales of $11.2 billion in the first three months of 2020. That's a 16% increase over the same period last year. [Read more]

-- Susan Giles Wantuck

DeSantis : Supply Delays Impacted State Response To Pandemic

Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sarasota Tuesday to discuss the state’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a new COVID-19 testing site at the University Town Center Mall, the governor said Florida is ramping up testing and loosening restrictions on who can get screened for the virus.

"Obviously if you have coronavirus symptoms, come, it doesn't matter how old," he said. "Two, if you're a health care worker, first responder -- regardless of symptoms, come get tested, and then even if you're somebody that's totally asymptomatic, but believe that you may have been exposed to coronavirus in one way or another, come." [Read more]

-- Cathy Carter

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