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First Coast Connect

COVID On The Rise; Giving Tuesday; World AIDS Day; St. Augustine Distillery

Centers for Disease Control

The holiday weekend saw a rise in COVID-19 cases, and subsequently, Florida is expected to surpass one million coronavirus cases Monday or Tuesday.

Public health experts have been predicting that the Thanksgiving travels and gatherings will lead to a spike in additional new cases.  

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, pediatrician and co-chair of the Baptist Health System Infection Prevention and Control Committee; andDr. Jeff Goldhagen, Chief Division of Community and Societal Pediatrics at UF Health Jacksonville joined us for a closer look.

Related; Local, State, and National Coronavirus Coverage

Giving Tuesday

The season of giving is here. GivingTuesday, an international movement designed to encourage people to support nonprofit organizations, takes place on December 1. Mari Kuraishi, CEO of The Jessie Ball duPont Center,  joined us with her thoughts. 

World AIDS Day

December 1 is also World AIDS Day. The new medical nonprofit Hope Across the Globe works to diagnose, treat and educate people about HIV and AIDS, as well as the HEP C virus.  The organization’s Medical Director, Dr. Ivan Gurrero, joined us with some details about his work.

Holiday Spirits

We are encouraging everyone to support local businesses during this trying time. One of them is The St. Augustine Distillery, which has a new fill your own bottle experience.  Phillip McDaniel, co-founder and CEO of the distillery, talked with us about it. 

Related: Shop Melissa’s local holiday picks in this year's gift guide.

Patrick Cantin can be reached at

First Coast Connect first coast connect
Patrick Cantin is joining WJCT from the University of North Florida as a news intern for the fall 2020 semester.