Brendan Rivers

Reporter

Credit Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Reporter Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates six radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.

Originally from Clifton Park, New York, Brendan moved to Florida in high school. He has a bachelor's degree in music from New College of Florida and an associate's degree in music production and technology from Daytona State College.

Brendan originally planned to pursue a career as a composer, arranger, music producer and recording engineer, but an internship at WGCU, the NPR and PBS member station in Fort Myers, convinced him he belongs in broadcasting and public media.

Brendan is the lead reporter for ADAPT, WJCT’s digital magazine exploring how Northeast Florida is adapting to sea level rise and other effects of climate change. He also hosts the ADAPT podcast.

Brendan's bylines include NPR, InsideClimate News, Living On Earth, The Florida Times-Union, and Folio Weekly. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a former fellow with InsideClimate News and Climate Matters in the Newsroom.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Ponte Vedra Beach on March 19, 2020.
Heather Schatz / WJCT News

St. Johns County has extended its local state of emergency by seven days to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

 A woman takes a child's temperature with a Kinsa smart thermometer.
Kinsa

The city of St. Augustine plans to give out 600 smart thermometers from Kinsa, a company that’s trying to stop the spread of contagious illnesses like COVID-19.

A sign reading "My Teacher Misses Me" outside of an Atlantic Beach home.
David Luckin / WJCT News

St. Johns County’s leading medical expert says the nation was unprepared for coronavirus and that leaders and residents aren’t doing enough to stop its spread.

PPE being delivered to Baptist Medical Center.
Aidan Chau / Artfully Green

As governments, businesses, and organizations struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, individuals are stepping up to lend a helping hand, including three Northeast Florida teens.

Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities See Major Increase In COVID-19 Cases

Apr 8, 2020
Caridad Smith uses hand sanitizer before eating lunch at Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc., on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Miami.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

The number of reported COVID-19 infections at nursing homes and assisted living facilities has quintupled during the past week, increasing to 415 cases in 41 Florida counties, including 33 cases in Duval County.

A "social distance zone" sign in a Neptune Beach neighborhood.
David Luckin / WJCT News

Florida law allows the state Surgeon General to enforce the isolation or quarantine of individuals believed to pose a threat to public health.

An employment application form.
Mike Groll / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis is focusing on improvements being made to the state’s overwhelmed unemployment-compensation system, rather than his embattled appointee overseeing the work. Meanwhile, paper applications are being made available across the state.

Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward
Clay County Emergency Management

During a press conference Monday, Clay County officials stressed the importance of social distancing and said they were preparing for another six to eight weeks of taking precautions to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.

A man at Feeding Northeast Florida unloads a truck filled with food from Walt Disney World.
Feeding Northeast Florida

As many Jacksonville restaurants cut back hours, lay off workers, or close, some are left wondering where their next meal will come from as they watch their bank accounts shrink. But a new local food bank partnership is helping some cooks stay employed, while feeding those in need.

Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are seen before they are prepared for RNA testing.
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

In its Sunday morning update, the Florida Department of Health said 606 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the state total up to 12,151. Duval County  has 414 confirmed cases.

Jacksonville University
Excel23 / Wikimedia Commons

Jacksonville University announced Sunday that a student has tested positive for COVID-19.

A child rides a scooter past barricades at the entrance of a park, which was closed to vehicular traffic to help encourage social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

Cases of child abuse and neglect are expected to rise in the coming weeks and months due to the coronavirus.

A student works through a math problem with their iPad at the ready.
Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

The FBI says there could be an increased risk for child exploitation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Schoology error message.
Heather Schatz / WJCT News

Monday was the first day of online learning in St. Johns County, but things didn't go entirely to plan.

A woman passes a bag of groceries through the passenger side window of a vehicle.
Farm Share

Several local elected officials, with help from Farm Share, will get together and host a free food drive-through in Jacksonville on Saturday to help families in need get through the coronavirus pandemic.

UNF
News4Jax

A University of North Florida employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

A woman wearing a protective mask watches television in her home.
Alvaro Barrientos / Associated Press

As people self-isolate and self-quarantine to help stop the spread of coronavirus, abusers frequently have greater access to their victims. Meanwhile, victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse have less acess to help.

An iPhone displays a Facebook page.
Jenny Kane / Associated Press

The St. Johns Riverkeeper has launched a social media campaign to help Northeast Floridians cope with the coronavirus pandemic through nature.

Chef's Garden Catering & Events Executive Chef and co-owner Jamey Evoniuk.
Chef's Garden Catering & Events

As governments start enforcing social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus, businesses are being forced to explore creative solutions to deal with the economic ramifactions of the pandemic.

Jacksonville Beach
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

All Duval County beaches will be closed to the public beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.

A closed sign hangs in the door as a maintenance worker passes by.
Matt York / Associated Press

The Northeast Florida Regional Council has put together a resource guide for small businesses struggling with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Executive Director Joy Young speaking at the Times-Union Center.
Jihan Grant / Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is asking City Hall for more money as it explores how to help local artists and nonprofits deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the council itself is grappling with a $95,000 hole in its budget.

The Florida Legislature
The News Service of Florida


As Florida’s 2020 legislative session comes to a close, lawmakers can celebrate the bills they passed. But hundreds of other proposals died along the way, including a bill that would have established a state-wide office of resiliency.

Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk
Downtown Vision, Inc.

April's First Wednesday Art Walk has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry
Shannon LeDuke / WJCT

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said Wednesday he could enforce a city-wide lockdown if residents don't self-quarantine as more confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to pop up.

St. Augustine old town
Iagology / Flickr

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Tuesday that all bars and nightclubs close for the next 30 days to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The city of St. Augustine is taking that a step further by banning alcohol sales at restaurants.

Cars lining up at Ascension St. Vincent's COVID-19 testing site.
Ascension Medical Group St. Vincent's

Ascension Medical Group St. Vincent’s has opened a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 in Jacksonville.

Cars line up outside the Central Outreach Wellness Center on the Northside of Pittsburgh Monday, March 16, 2020, for drive-by testing for COVID-19.
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

Mayor Lenny Curry announced Monday that Jacksonville would be getting a drive up coronavirus testing site by the end of the week.

Mayor Lenny Curry speaking at a City Council meeting on COVID-19 on Monday.
City of Jacksonville

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Monday that he is limiting the crowd capacity of establishments for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people and banning the sale of alcohol after midnight.

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville
MikesMegapixels / Wikimedia Commons

Hospitals across the First Coast, including Mayo Clinic and the Orange Park Medical Center, confirm they’re treating coronavirus patients. As the outbreak is expected to worsen, hospitals are taking steps to limit exposure to their patients and staff. Some of those measures pose a challenge to students who are required to have hands-on experience in medical facilities.

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