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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Get The Facts Jax; Science is US; Parents Advocate for Universal Masking; Dave Koz

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MATT SLOCUM / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Across the First Coast, ICUs are overwhelmed with patients admitting with COVID-19, a large number of them unvaccinated. This week, the Jacksonville Civic Council (JCC) launched a new campaign called Get the Facts Jax aimed at increasing the city’s vaccination rate.

The campaign supports the intersection of public health and business, saying that increased vaccination rates will be good for the local economy. The campaign is funded by JCC in collaboration with local healthcare providers including Ascension St. Vincent’s, Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation, Flagler Health, Florida Blue, Memorial Hospital, and UF Health Jacksonville, as well as more than 75 member organizations that make up the business members of the civic council. 

Jeanne Miller, President and CEO of the JCC joined us to discuss the campaign’s goals, especially as schools are set to reopen in the coming weeks.

Science Is US

Science is US is a national organization dedicated to promoting evidence-based decision-making in public policy and building federal research support. The organization says that science, not politics, should be guiding public health decisions on masking and vaccinations.

Executive Director Rachel Kerestes spoke with us about a collaborative mission to bridge the gap between policymakers and the science and engineering communities. 

Parents Advocate For Universal Masking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend universal masking by the time students head back to class, regardless of students’ vaccination status. This advice directly contradicts the “masks optional” policy set by the Florida Department of Education.

We were joined by Dr. Jill Jenks, a parent activist who is pushing for Duval County Public Schools to make masks mandatory. 

Dave Koz

Renowned jazz saxophonist Dave Koz is coming to town, with two shows set for this Sunday at the Florida Theatre. The Dave Koz and Friends show will also feature a performance from North Florida’s own Mindi Abair. Koz spoke with us about his upcoming show.

Virtual Events for Students

The Jacksonville National Organization for Women is hosting Duval County Public Schools board member Elizabeth Andersen and Florida State Representative Tracie Davis to discuss critical education issues on the minds of parents as kids prepare for another school year. 

The I’m A Star Foundation and WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union will host conversations between Jacksonville's youth and mental health experts on readjusting to school amidst a pandemic.

The Florida High School Athletic Association is holding the Florida Student-Athlete Leadership Seminar which teaches student-athletes how to perform their best using mental skills and celebrating diversity in athletics.

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

 

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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross first coast connect
Florida Roundup Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.