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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Reopening Restaurants; Child Abuse Prevention; COVID-19 Impact; Craig McFarland

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Patrons dining in a restaurant


The coronavirus crisis has hit the restaurant business particularly hard. They have been closed to dining for weeks now, and as such, have had to shift to takeout and delivery only, or close altogether.

As April heads into May, and governments are talking about reopening the economy, restaurant owners are trying to figure out whether and how they will open back up to seated customers.

Allison D'Aurizio, the co-owner of 1748 Bakehouse in Springfield; and Lauren Titus, Editor of Edible Northeast Florida, joined us for a closer look.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Children’s Home Society of Florida is sounding the alarm about how the COVID-19 pandemic and stay at home orders could be increasing incidents of child abuse and neglect. The organization’s VP, Tara Hormell, joined us with more information.

African Americans, Latinx And COVID-19

The covid crisis does not discriminate. It can and will strike anyone, young or old, healthy or infirm. 


That said, we do know the elderly are more likely to suffer from the virus. And, the data increasingly shows that African Americans and Latinx people are suffering disproportionate impacts from coronavirus.

A variety of factors is driving that. Barry Wright Jr., M.D, is an internist with Baptist Health in Jacksonville. He’s been looking at the impact of covid on these populations, and joined us with his observations.

Silver Linings

The women’s leadership organization She Is Fierce! Is looking for the positive in this pandemic. Founder Kelly Youngs is leading an online silver linings series right now with women business owners. She recently spoke with Jennifer Earnest of Chef’s Garden Catering and Events, and gave us a preview.


Craig McFarland

18-year-old Craig McFarland is this year’s valedictorian at Stanton High School in Jacksonville. He also got accepted to all eight universities in the Ivy League. McFarland’s incredible feat was even profiled in the New York Times! He took a break from his studies to tell us about his achievements.

Heather Schatz can be reached at or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.