Coronavirus

TALLAHASSEE --- Gov. Ron DeSantis thinks students who attend Florida’s 12 state universities should be able to socialize without worrying about getting thrown out of school.

To that end, DeSantis said Thursday he’s willing to consider a college students’ “bill of rights” that would preclude state universities from taking actions against students who are enjoying themselves.

The governor’s office didn’t immediately respond to questions about when he might issue the “bill of rights” or whether it would be done through an executive order.

Schools across the state are back in session with some students in brick and mortar classrooms and others attending online.

But when it comes to music education, federal and state policy makers don't have much to say.

So these teachers are turning to organizations like the National Association for Music Education for guidance on how to safely move forward with extracurriculars that could contribute to spreading the coronavirus.

This week, Governor Ron DeSantis suggested he’d like to see a special session for the Florida legislature to consider protecting small businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19.

Bill Herrle is state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. He welcomes the idea of lawmakers visiting the issue sooner rather than later, saying businesses “urgently need reform.”

Group Offers Proposal To Protect Businesses From COVID-19 Liability

Sep 23, 2020
NIAID-RML via AP

Forty lobbyists and association representatives met over the summer to discuss ways to protect businesses from what some fear will be a flood of lawsuits related to COVID-19.

The Florida Cabinet meets.
News Service of Florida

With Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried calling for a coordinated response by statewide elected officials to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday defended the actions of agencies under his control.

Visitors will have to wait a bit longer to see the museum's works by Monet, Morisot, Rodin, O’Keeffe and many others, as well as ancient Greek and Roman, Asian, African, and Native American art.

The galleries of the museum's permanent collection are in the final stages of renovation and are expected to open in October, but two special exhibitions are on view now.

And, as with all indoor spaces in the region, the cultural institution is asking visitors to adhere to safety guidelines.

Florida A&M University’s Developmental Research School is sending students home for two weeks after several positive cases of COVID-19 on its campus.

The university says one teacher and one non-teaching staffer tested positive for the virus, along with two students. More than half a dozen teachers are being asked to quarantine and volleyball and football games set for this week have been postponed.

The school is also suspending in-person classes for two weeks.

FSU Football Coach Tests Positive For COVID-19

Sep 21, 2020

Florida State University’s head football coach, Mike Norvell, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Norvell announced his test results in a press release Saturday. He says the results stem from a test he took Friday, after receiving two negative results from tests he had taken earlier in the week.

FSU COVID-19 Rule Breakers Now Subject To Suspensions

Sep 21, 2020

Thrasher sent a statement via email to students today. In it, he thanks those who have been wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. But he also says students who ignore COVID-19 safety guidelines are putting everyone at risk.

"The choices you make don’t just impact you. They affect your friends, families, professors, FSU staff, and the Tallahassee community at large, as well as our ability to hold in-person classes and future events and provide campus services," Thrasher says.

Person with gloves on holding a vaccine in their hand, about to flick it with their finger.
Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press

With flu season rapidly approaching, medical professionals are warning of potentially high hospitalizations and deaths if precautions aren’t taken, when combined with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States.

Florida State University has investigated some 45 students for violating the school's COVID-19 safety rules. The university has come under scrutiny for the behavior of some students who've flouted safety protocols.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle
News Service of Florida

Florida continues to see a steady decline in first-time unemployment claims, even as several large hospitality and entertainment companies have extended and imposed large-scale layoffs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After many establishments were closed for months amid the coronavirus pandemic, Florida’s top business regulator believes bar and craft-brewery owners will do a better job this time of self-enforcing state safety restrictions.

But Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears said Wednesday his agency won’t go easy on bars and breweries that violate rules such as indoor occupancy limits.

Researchers in several University of South Florida departments - including medicine, nursing and business - are recruiting volunteers from Tampa General Hospital's COVID-19 clinic for a new wearable devices study to predict when symptoms will worsen.

Health News Florida's Daylina Miller spoke with the principal investigator, Matthew Mullarkey, about the study, which is working to determine why some people get so sick from COVID-19 while others don't.

Daylina Miller: Can you tell us a little about about this study?

State officials sounded the foghorn Monday to let bars serve on-premise alcohol again, but for many Florida establishments, it wasn’t much of a change. Bars throughout Leon County have been using a workaround that allowed them to operate as restaurants.

After a state-wide shutdown, bars were allowed to reopen early in June, but that didn’t last long. State officials said too many people were gathering in large groups and weren’t following social distancing guidelines. They limited bars to serving alcohol only for off-premise consumption. Then officials made another change.

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

With coronavirus-related restrictions at long-term care facilities being eased, an industry leader is warning that without protections against civil liability there will be more legal cases and eventually an increase in insurance rates.

Beer is pictured being poured into a glass.
News Service of Florida

After many establishments were closed for months amid the coronavirus pandemic, Florida’s top business regulator believes bar and craft-brewery owners will do a better job this time of self-enforcing state safety restrictions.

Edward Waters College
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Fall enrollment numbers at Jacksonville-area colleges and universities are surprisingly high given the economic toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken, and some schools are even reporting record numbers.

John Raoux / Associated Press

For fans heading to TIAA Bank Field this Sunday to see the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts, the experience will be different than in past years as the NFL copes with the realities of the pandemic.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Saying goodbye to the dreaded commute – at least for a while – is leaving workers a lot of time to do their jobs, according to a new report.

Michelle Corum/WJCT News

The Duval County public school district has received approval from the Florida Department of Education for a modified reopening plan.

Charles Krupa / Associated Press file photo

Duval County Public Schools reported seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases for Tuesday, September 8, among three students and four staff members across the district.

The New York Times lists Tallahassee as the 2nd metro area where coronavirus cases are rising the fastest, on a population-adjusted basis. Leon County has 7,943 COVID-19 infections.

James Weldon Johnson Park, then Hemming Park, is pictured on June 9, 2020, shortly after the city removed its Confederate statue.
Heather Schatz / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council is set to hold a public hearing on a proposed two year moratorium on the renaming of public parks, buildings and streets during Tuesday’s meeting. The council is also considering more buyouts of homes in flood-prone areas.

NIAID-RML via AP

A 22-year-old Duval County man is among the 100 new coronavirus deaths the state of Florida reported Friday.

Florida A&M University will place students who are exposed to the coronavirus in campus apartments but the school is mum about identifying which ones students will be placed in. Since the start of August. 14 students and nearly 20 staff members have tested positive for Covid-19. Two students have already been moved and placed in quarantine.

FSU Pushes Homecoming To Spring 2021

Sep 4, 2020

The Florida State University Alumni Association says its cancelled homecoming amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s planning to reschedule the annual gathering in the Spring, but hasn’t set dates.

The loss of the homecomings at FSU and Florida A&M University will likely take a bite out of the city’s economy.

A day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they would play their first two games in Raymond James Stadium without spectators, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the team to allow fans to attend.

“If the Bucs had fans, I would try to go to the first home game. I would,” DeSantis said during a Thursday roundtable in St. Petersburg about bars and breweries. “I am not going to go if other fans are not allowed.”

K-12 schools across the state began sending people home to self-isolate within days of classes starting. Some districts are releasing the names of schools where close contact with a confirmed positive case has occurred, while others are not disclosing this information.

Danielle Savin, co-owner of a bar called Bob's Your Uncle, pours a drink, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at the bar in Miami Beach
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes to give Floridians the “ability to have some enjoyment in their life” by soon lifting on-site drinking restrictions imposed on bars and craft breweries since late June.

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