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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: Largest Spike In Florida For Second Day, Plan To Reopen Schools, 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 Friday, June 12, according to the Florida Department of Health:

70,971 — Positive Tests | 2,877— Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

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Florida Posts Most New COVID-19 Cases For Second Straight Day

For the second consecutive day, the Florida Department of Health is reporting a new single-day record for people testing positive with COVID-19.

1,902 new cases were reported since Thursday, bringing the state total to 70,971.

For the week, 9,483 new cases were reported statewide – the most in one week since the start of the pandemic.

325 people tested positive in the Tampa Bay area, the second highest number of cases in a day. 337 cases were reported Thursday.

Manatee and Polk counties both reported new single-day highs in cases, with 56 and 48 respectively. Hillsborough reported 121 new cases, the second most in a day behind 147 reported Thursday.

Statewide, 29 new deaths – including five in the Tampa Bay area – were reported. That brings the total to 2,877. [Read more]

-- Mark Schreiner

Outbreak At Pinellas County Jail

Officials at the Pinellas County Jail are dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19.

According to a statement from the Sheriff's Office, 13 staff members and five inmates have tested positive within the last few days.

The staff members mainly work in the Inmate Records division or are deputies working in the North Division of the jail, which is located on 49th St. N in Clearwater.

Fourteen employees have test results pending, and the 30 members of one shift in the Inmate Records division are on home quarantine. The first cases were reported among those inmate records specialists, who interact with other staff, but not inmates. [Read more]

-- Mark Schreiner

Florida's Plan To Reopen Schools

Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials on Thursday released a plan to reopen public schools at full capacity in August, saying that vulnerable kids and Floridians need the return to in-person instruction.

“While there may be challenges regionally, Florida’s workforce and students with the greatest needs are counting on schools to fight to stay open,” the Florida Department of Education stated in the 143-page plan issued Thursday.

The department put forth a series of recommendations aimed at protecting students and school employees as well as easing parents’ concerns, after the coronavirus pandemic prompted school shutdowns around the world. Reopening plans will be finalized by local school officials. [Read more]

-- News Service of Florida

Remaining Hillsborough Parks Reopening

The remaining conservation parks in Hillsborough County have been closed will reopen on Monday. They include:

  •         Lettuce Lake Park
  •         Trout Creek Park
  •         Morris Bridge Park
  •         John B. Sergeant Park
  •         Upper Tampa Bay Park
  •         E.G. Simmons Park
  •         Edward Medard Park
  •         Alderman's Ford Park
  •         Lake Park
  •         Eureka Springs Park
  •         Lithia Springs Park
  •         Veterans Memorial Park
  •         Bakas Equestrian Center

Canoe/kayak launches will be open, but some areas will remain closed, including picnic shelters, playground equipment, and picnic shelters.
Other restrictions may be in effect.

-- Carl Lisciandrello

Hillsborough, Pinellas Move To Halt Spike

New coronavirus cases are spiking across the state, with Florida recording another high for new coronavirus cases reported in a single day on Thursday.

Hillsborough County officials are trying to get the word out that we still need to keep our distance from each other.

Members of Hillsborough's Emergency Policy Group were told by health officials that the county is "nearing the crossroads," with the number of positive cases in people ages 18 to 35 increasing over the past two weeks as restrictions ease.

Marissa Levine, a public health specialist with the University of South Florida College of Public Health, told the group it's up to everyone to prevent the rise from becoming a second wave of infections. That, she said, includes getting younger people to realize they can become sick. [Read more]

-- Steve Newborn

Jacksonville Lands RNC

Jacksonville will host the biggest pieces of the 2020 National Republican Convention in August.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the decision Thursday night, “"We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion in the great city of Jacksonville," McDaniel said.

"Not only does Florida hold a special place in President Trump’s heart as his home state, but it is crucial in the path to victory in 2020.  We look forward to bringing this great celebration and economic boon to the Sunshine State in just a few short months," she added.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who has been lobbying for the convention, praised the work that has been done in a short period of time. [Read more]

-- Bill Bortzfield, WJCT

Will You Evacuate? Hillsborough And Pasco Want To Know 

With hurricane season underway, two counties in the Tampa Bay area want to know more about evacuation plans. They’re asking residents to fill out a survey.  

Pasco County emergency management director Andrew Fossa says storm shelters will accommodate fewer people because of social distancing rules.  

“There's going to be a deficit there from what we sheltered, compared to Irma, where we had 25,000 plus citizens in shelters,” he said.  [Read more]

-- Bradley George

Lasting Power Of Protests Gives Black Business Owners Hope For Real Change

It’s been more than two weeks since the death of George Floyd and protesters are still taking to the streets in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality.

Black business owners are also saying they’re seeing a surge in community support.

On Tuesday night, the Black Business Bus Tour sponsored an event at 7th + Grove in Ybor City.

Dozens of black business owners and supporters enjoyed tacos and drinks – big smiles under their face masks - as many of them interacted with more people in one place than they had since the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns started in mid-March. [Read more]

-- Daylina Miller

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