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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

COVID In Florida; Jax Riverfront; Florida's Opioid Issue; CampCraft Cocktails

In this Jan. 19, 2021, photo, Robert Owens, 90, stands in line with other residents to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at John Knox Village in Pompano Beach.

On Wednesday, Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville's top health officials urged the public to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our area again. 

The Delta variant is the newest challenge, as area ICU and hospital beds are filling, predominantly with unvaccinated people.

We spoke with UF Health Jacksonville Director of Accreditation & Infection Prevention Chad Neilsen for the latest.

Jacksonville's Riverfront

The debate over how to best activate Jacksonville’s riverfront has been going ongoing, with plenty of players in the mix, including out of state architects and designers. We spoke with two of them; David van de Leer of the firm DVDL, and Claire Weisz of WXY Architects, about potential plans for the vacant Shipards parcel on the Northbank.

Florida’s Opioid Crisis

Florida, and specifically North Florida, has been a top destination for a rise in the amount of Fentanyl illegally arriving in America via the U.S./Mexico border in Texas. Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems, joined us with a closer look.  

Camp Craft Cocktails

Camp Craft Cocktails, based here in Jacksonville, is shaking things up with some new products, partnerships - and even a new home.  Co-founder and Co-owner Rhonda Stringfellow joined us with details.

Patrick Cantin can be reached at or on Twitter.