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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

COVID-19 & Higher Education; Keeping Seniors Connected; Digital Divide; Congaree And Penn

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File of students studying in a library

On Thursday’s program, we took a closer look at how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted colleges and universities - and what their summer and spring semesters might look like - with FSCJ President John Avendano.


Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Keeping Seniors Connected

Some seniors across Florida are dealing with extreme social isolation in the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s particularly true if they are living in one of the state’s long-term care facilities. Because the facilities are hotbeds of the disease, loved ones aren’t allowed to visit right now.


Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs is doing what it can to connect seniors to their loved ones, virtually. Secretary of Elder Affairs Richard Prudom, joined us to explain how. 

Digital Divide for Students

Speaking of staying connected, what about kids?


The digital divide is having a very real impact on young people without Internet access. In the U.S, that’s about 6% of the population. Right now, if you’re a student who’s not online, you’re not learning. But, Jacksonville’s Pace Center for Girls is working to reach female students in this situation and get them connected.  The organization’s President and CEO, Mary Marx, joined us with more


Congaree & Penn 

If you’re looking for ways to get outdoors while practicing social distancing, how about a day at the farm?

Congaree and Penn Farm & Mill, a 300-acre farm about 20 minutes from the city’s urban core, is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am - 8:00 pm for picnicking and to-go orders. , Farm Managing Partner Scott Meyer told us about it.

Archived Video: Melissa's Helps Scott Harvest Mayhaws last Spring


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