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Delta COVID Variant Spreads In Jax; Surfside Investigation; Shepardfest; What’s Good Wednesday

Prepped COVID-19 vaccine filled syringes are at ready for use at a COVID-19 vaccination site at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.
June 22, 2021 Associated Press file photo
Prepped COVID-19 vaccine filled syringes are at ready for use at a COVID-19 vaccination site at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.

Florida's COVID-19 numbers have been facing a sharp rise, and the surge in infections is linked to the arrival of the new Delta variant. 

The rising number of COVID-19 cases, and the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant has led to local health systems and community organizations joining forces to launch a full scale vaccination push which will launch next month. At last report, Jacksonville had 2,127 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the State of Florida had 23,697 cases listed in its weekly situational report.

The Delta variant, which is far more contagious than the original strain of COVID-19 has now become the dominant strain in the United States. 

Chad Nielsen, the Director of Infection Prevention at UF Health Jacksonville  joined us to discuss the Delta variant, and the recent surge. 


As the investigation into the Surfside building collapse continues, the tragedy's death toll has climbed to 95, with dozens of people still missing. In the wake of the tragedy, some reporters covering climate change say that the effects of climate change threaten buildings all along Florida’s coast. 

Oliver Milman, of The Guardian joined us to discuss the tragedy in Surfside. 


Flagler College is putting on Shepardfest to honor the playwright, actor, musician, and poet Sam Shepard. The three day festival will include a performances, academic panels, a screening of his “Blackthorn” in which he plays Butch Cassidy, and a reading of his short stories and poems. The three day festival is being held at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, from August 13-15.  

Andrea McCook, an Associate Professor of Theater Arts in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Flagler College joined us to discuss the festival. 

What’s Good Wednesday 

  • Author Ann McCutchan  has a new book out titled The Life She Wished to Live, which focuses on the life of The Yearling author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. 
  • The Jacksonville chapter of the nonprofit organization Isaiah 117 House is taking part in a national “lemonade stand challenge” to raise money and awareness for foster children. 
  • A local female entrepreneur has received a $5,000 grant from “The Profit” star Marcus Lemonis for her biodegradable cosmetic brand Worthy Oui Cosmetics
  • The Child Tax Credit, which can provide up to $300 per month per child kicks off on July 15.  

For more good news delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our What’s Good Wednesdays newsletter .

Mackenzie Guiry can be reached at

First Coast Connect first coast connect
Mackenzie Guiry is a senior multimedia journalism major at the University of North Florida. She spent her first two years of college at Florida Atlantic University.