Coronavirus

JEA Downtown Headquarters
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

JEA customers should expect a significantly cheaper electric bill in May.  

The Carter family with their chalk art
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

While the COVID-19 pandemic is causing heartbreak and stress, it’s also bringing out some of the best in people.

One example is the #904rainbowhunt, which has been trending on local social media.

Even though Governor Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home executive order allows for church services to be held in places of worship statewide – the Catholic Church is among the faiths not reversing its course on cancelling services. Bishop Bill Wack of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee says every diocese in the state has cancelled Mass for the foreseeable future.

Florida’s hospitals are under capacity as they anticipate a rise in COVID-19 patients within the month. The lack of patients, coupled with increased spending to bulk up on supplies, has some of these hospitals furloughing their staff. 

Tony Boselli Says Ended Up In Mayo Clinic's ICU As He Battled COVID-19

11 hours ago
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

Former Jaguars’ star and Hall of Fame finalist Tony Boselli is recovering after he was hospitalized for five days at the Mayo Clinic for COVID-19, he told WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union Thursday in his first public comments.

Social distancing restrictions from coronavirus have actually led to a rare community effort: the tracking of an endangered species after a north Atlantic right whale mother and calf journeyed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Pointing to his “discretionary” powers in dealing with emergencies, Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking a circuit judge to toss out a lawsuit aimed at forcing statewide beach closures because of the novel coronavirus.

As Florida approached 8,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

DeSantis announced the 30-day executive order at a press conference, saying he made the decision after speaking with President Donald Trump.

The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Gavel on a table
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

One Jacksonville attorney’s office is offering free legal help with end-of-life documents like wills in the midst of the coronavirus. 

exterior of the store
Heather Schatz / WJCT News

An employee at the Sawgrass Village Publix in Ponte Vedra Beach tested positive for COVID-19, according to what appears to be an internal message sent to the store’s employees.

DC via AP

While the list of closures and social restrictions grows in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus, high school seniors in Clay County have fingers crossed that they’ll get to walk with their classmates this May.

Background Checks Reflecting Gun Sales Break New Records In Florida, Nationally

Apr 2, 2020
A customer looks at a SIG Sauer hand gun at a gun show held in Miami in this file photo.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Background checks for new gun purchases in Florida during March – when the coronavirus pandemic worsened dramatically – surged to set records, according to the latest figures the FBI released Wednesday.

Mayor Lenny Curry sitting and speaking into the camera
Via Zoom

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry followed up on a tweet he sent last night regarding a cruise ship off the coast of Florida with passengers exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms potentially docking in the city’s port. 

Jon Gambrell / Associated Press

If you’re in St. Augustine, you may have the choice to have your temperature monitored as part of a pilot project to detect the presence of COVID-19.

JTA

Driverless electric-powered vehicles are being used for the first time in the U.S. – according to JTA – to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Duval County ranked No. 3 in the country for travel, despite people being encouraged to stay at home, according to an analysis  by The New York Times.

Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase surplus goods from Florida farms. In a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Fried proposes this surplus be used in food assistance programs.

Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians of a recent COVID-19 scam. These scam messages state that people won’t get their coronavirus stimulus check if they don’t fill out the 2020 census. The message then has a link to a fake website directing people to give out personal information.

LightStrike robot emitting light on the front of the masks, which are hanging up
Via Xenex

As hospitals across the nation face national shortages of masks and other protective equipment for medical professionals, some facilities are forced to find ways to extend the usage of their resources. 

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.

Tadeáš Bednarz/ Wiki Commons

On Wednesday’s episode of First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, we discussed possible new CDC recommendations regarding face masks.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is pictured at the White House on March 14, 2020.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

For many, April 1 means the rent is due. But with record-setting jobless claims in Florida due to COVID-19, paying the rent this month – and the next few - may not be an option for some.

DeSantis Tells Floridians To Stay At Home Except For Essential Services

Apr 1, 2020
PBS NewsHour

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he is issuing an executive order calling for Floridians statewide to stay at home, a move that he had been resisting as other states took similar steps because of the novel coronavirus.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry issued a new executive order Wednesday morning mandating that people remain at home except for critical and essential needs.

Florida Could Speed Up Road Projects While Traffic Is Sparse

Apr 1, 2020
Brian Cleary / Associated Press

Florida might speed up some infrastructure projects, taking advantage of motorists staying off roads because of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.

Federal Inspectors Eye Florida Long-Term Care Facilities During COVID-19

Apr 1, 2020
Photo of woman with protective mask
ALVARO BARRIENTOS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Federal health inspectors have arrived in Florida to evaluate how long-term care facilities are responding to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Democratic Florida lawmakers say a Florida Supreme Court order suspending evictions doesn’t go far enough. 

Schools around the state are closed through May 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but daycare centers remain open.

Even though these facilities can be germ factories, the state has allowed them to continue operating because they are essential to keeping essential services running.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting Florida farmers differently, depending on which market to whom local growers are selling.

doctors looking at tests
Via Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic announced it will begin testing its own patients who meet the CDC criteria. 

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