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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: Pasco Elections Reset, More Hillsborough Parks Reopening, 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:

Here are the latest figures as of 11 a.m. Saturday, May 15, according to the Florida Department of Health:

43,607 – Florida Residents |  1,2014 – Non-Florida Residents | 1,964  – Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

NEWSLETTER: Sign Up For Coronavirus Updates From Health News Florida

Vice President Pence To Visit Orlando Nursing Home

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit a nursing home in Orlando and deliver personal protective equipment on Wednesday. 

In a news release sent Saturday, his office said that the nursing home visit is part of an initiative to deliver PPE to more than 15,000 nursing homes across America. 
 
Afterwards, Pence is scheduled to participate in a discussion with hospitality and tourism leaders to talk about plans for reopening [More Here].
 
-- Associated Press
 
Hillsborough County Neighborhood Parks Reopening Monday

Hillsborough County is reopening its neighborhood green spaces and dog parks on Monday, but portions of its parks remain off limits.

The county released a statement saying it is open to "passive" recreation, meaning people must obey social distancing guidelines. It is opening tennis, pickleball and volleyball courts, but says organized sports and groups are not yet allowed to resume.

The county is not yet opening the following: recreation centers/buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds, shelters, splash pads, skate parks. Events and park programs also are not restarting.

People are encouraged to bring water for themselves and their pets. Outdoor restrooms will be open at staffed sites, the county said in a statement.

Hillsborough County's nature preserves and some conservation parks opened earlier this month. That includes:

  • Flatwoods Conservation Park, 14302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa, and 18205 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa
  • Morris Bridge Off-Road Biking Area, 12651 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa
  • Alderman's Ford Conservation Park, 100 Alderman's Ford Park Drive, Plant City, for hiking and biking only
  • Upper Tampa Bay Trail and all parking areas
  • ONLY the boat ramp at E.G. Simmons Conservation Park

-- Mary Shedden

Pasco County Elections Rescheduled to June 30, 2020, After Postponement 

Pasco County municipal elections will be held on June 30, after they were delayed in April due to coronavirus safety concerns, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office said in an executive order issued Saturday.

Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley requested the initial postponement, and for voting to be rescheduled for the cities of San Antonio and Dade City.

The decision to postpone in April “protected the health and safety of the voters, poll workers and my staff,” Corley said in a letter to DeSantis.

Dade City has three races for city commission, and San Antonio has three city council races. A mayoral race in Zephyrhills was canceled after a candidate was disqualified.

-- Kerry Sheridan

DeSantis: Gyms Can Reopen Monday, Restaurants Allowed 50% Capacity

Florida gymnasiums and fitness centers are among the latest places able to begin reopening.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the latest steps in his plan to get businesses back up and running during the coronavirus pandemic at a Friday press conference in Jacksonville.

DeSantis called it a “full Phase One,” saying gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen starting Monday under social distancing guidelines and restricted capacity.

In addition, capacity for restaurants and retail stores will be expanded to 50 percent. Restaurants can use spacing of tables, as well as partitions, to keep distance between customers inside. [Read more]

-- Mark Schreiner

Sarasota’s Ringling Museum, Selby Gardens Will Reopen After Memorial Day

Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and The Ringling Museum will reopen after Memorial Day.

In a statement, the garden said its phase one reopening will be limited to outdoor spaces only at both its downtown and Historic Spanish Point locations, and that more details about safety protocols and “contactless ticketing” will be available next week. 

The Ringling Museum’s indoor galleries will be open May 27, but the outdoor playground will remain off limits for now.

Members can visit Selby Gardens Tuesday, May 26. The general public may purchase tickets to the gardens as early as Wednesday, May 27.

-- Kerry Sheridan

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