Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

An agreement between the Duval Teachers United (DTU) union, Duval County Public Schools, and five other employee representative groups would give teachers and other district employees a new COVID-19 related health benefit. It’s also expected to improve the district’s responsiveness to potential COVID-19 cases in schools, the groups and the district said in a joint release.

The Zim vessel Cape Sounio at JAXPORT in March 2019.

The Florida Ports Council is asking Congress for $3.5 billion in aid to help U.S. seaports and maritime businesses recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic as talks continue on an economic-stimulus package.

Following guidance from federal, state and local health experts, Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access at the Fort Pickens Campground next week.

The park is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida Department of Health and others to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, along with using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. 

Visit Jacksonville

The Florida Theatre's management has decided the perfect time to get some renovation work out of the way is now, while it is closed due to COVID-19.

First Baptist Church Abandons Plan To sell Most Of Downtown Jax Campus

Aug 4, 2020
First Baptist Church / Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church will not pursue its plan to sell a majority of its Downtown campus and consolidate to “The Hobson Block” as offers to buy its property dwindled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Representative Randy Fine has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Republican lawmaker, who represents southern Brevard County, tested positive for the coronavirus about two weeks ago. His wife and two sons also tested positive, but he says they have already recovered.

Fine spoke with me by telephone on Monday.

As the start of the school year nears for many students, not all college professors are ready to head back to the classroom. The United Faculty of Florida, a union that represents college and university faculty and staff, is calling on the governor to move all classes online for the next semester.

Private Colleges Eye COVID-19 Liability, Testing Concerns

Aug 3, 2020

TALLAHASSEE --- As private colleges and universities set plans to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of a statewide association is raising concerns about liability protections and virus testing costs.

Whether institutions can be held liable for students, faculty and staff members getting sick on campus is a top concern for school leaders as they gear up to reopen campuses for the fall term.

Florida Coastal School Of Law Will Be Fully Virtual For Fall Semester

Aug 3, 2020
Florida Coastal School of Law
Jacksonville Daily Record

Florida Coastal School of Law said July 22 that all courses will be online when the fall semester begins Aug. 3.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is launching a new campaign aimed at defeating COVID-19. Fried introduced the new initiative, called ‘Be Smart Florida,” Monday morning.

“S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for; S - social distance, M - mask up, A - avoid large crowds, R - remember to wash your hands, and T - throw away disposable items like gloves, masks, and wipes," said Fried.

State Prisons Chief, Top Aide Test Positive For Coronavirus

Aug 3, 2020

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the state’s prison system, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch and one of his top lieutenants have tested positive for the virus, the state agency announced late Friday night.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Editor's Note: The following opinion piece urging all of Floridians to wear face masks, practice social distancing and good hygiene, has been signed by 135 academic, business, community and health care leaders across Florida. 

Deaths linked to the coronavirus in Florida set another new high on Friday for the fourth consecutive day.

A total of 257 deaths linked to coronavirus were reported Friday by the Florida Department of Health, bringing the total death toll statewide since the pandemic began to 6,843.

Woman with a walker walking toward a sign talking about coronavirus.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

Hurricane Isaias’ latest track shows it skirting offshore of Florida’s east coast this weekend.  

State Talks Begin With Bar Owners, Brewers On Reopening

Jul 31, 2020

The state’s top business regulator will start holding talks Friday afternoon about reopening bars amid the coronavirus pandemic, with additional meetings being planned around Hurricane Isaias.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears will hold separate private talks in Jacksonville with groups of craft brewery owners and bar owners, the department announced.

The BioLife Plasma Services Center in Arlington
BioLife Plasma Services

BioLife Plasma Services is opening a new donation center in Jacksonville’s Arlington neighborhood.

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

With a $600 weekly temporary federal unemployment benefit scheduled to end Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced he is extending his executive order that prevents housing evictions and foreclosures in Florida.

Gov. DeSantis: 'We Might' Extend Eviction Protection

Jul 29, 2020
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to again be waiting until the deadline to announce if he will extend an executive order to help prevent foreclosures and evictions amid job losses and financial problems caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is looking to “tweak” one of his coronavirus orders so restaurant wait staff and non-health care workers can get back on the job quicker after testing positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, his top business regulator continues to plan meetings with craft brewers and bar owners about reopening.

COVID-19 Continues To Batter Florida's Government Revenue

Jul 28, 2020
Bobby Caina Calvan / Associated Press file photo

State tax revenues continued to take a hit in June as Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded economic-recovery efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new report shows.

The total number of COVID-19 cases stemming from Florida’s correctional facilities is nearing 5,000. Concern about the health of inmates has led to calls for Governor Ron DeSantis and local law enforcement authorities to release those behind bars. Community activist groups say holding people in a facility with a coronavirus outbreak could equate to a death sentence for some inmates. But law enforcement officials say the safety of community members has to be considered, too.

Angie Nixon speaking on the top of a truck, with a line of cars in front of her, in the middle of a grass lot. Some tall buildings and clouds in the background
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Duval County Public School teachers, parents, students, along with local representatives, continue to demand that schools remain in a distance learning format until new COVID-19 cases in the county are minimized. 

At Least 17 Residents, Fellow At UF Hospital System Contract COVID-19 After Party

Jul 27, 2020
Lauren Witte / Fresh Take Florida

At least 17 anesthesiologist residents and a fellow at one of the premier university hospital systems in Florida contracted COVID-19 earlier this month after attending a private party together, according to hospital insiders and internal documents.

For rent sign
Jeff Chiu / Associated Press file photo

The $600 weekly temporary federal unemployment benefit that was enacted due to COVID-19 is scheduled to expire at the end of month, raising fears that evictions and other hardships will follow for millions of Americans.

Top Fla. Regulator, Bars To 'Discuss Ideas On How To Reopen'

Jul 27, 2020

Florida’s top business regulator plans to start meeting with bar operators and craft brewers, amid concerns about establishments closing permanently if a state ban on serving drinks for on-site consumption remains in place.

Florida has recorded more coronavirus cases than New York. Only California, the most populous state in the country, has more.

As of Sunday afternoon, data from Johns Hopkins University shows 423,855 people in Florida have tested positive for the coronavirus, compared to 411,736 in New York. California leads with 450,242 cases.

The statewide high school athletic association decided Thursday to postpone the start of the fall sports by one month, until Aug. 24, after initially voting to proceed as normal despite the recommendations of its own medical advisory board which said it was unsafe due to rising cases of coronavirus across Florida.

The move came after several greater Tampa Bay counties decided on their own to postpone football practice and other sports for a few weeks.

State Rep. Randy Fine has coronavirus. The Brevard County Republican tested positive for coronavirus along with his wife, Wendy, and sons Jacob and David.

CSX CEO Calls 2nd Quarter 'Most Disruptive' He's Ever Experienced

Jul 23, 2020
CSX's Jacksonville headquarters

Freight traffic at CSX Corp. is picking up after COVID-19-related business shutdowns in the spring.


UPDATE: President Trump has cancelled Jacksonville's portion of the Republican National Convention.

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat, is raising a lot of concerns about the Republican National Convention bill that’s been sent to City Council.