School teachers are calling for a change in the vaccine distribution plan created by Governor Ron DeSantis. While DeSantis says he’s prioritizing the highly vulnerable elderly population first, school employees are asking to be included on the priority list. Scott Mazur is the president of the Leon Classroom Teachers Association.

For rent sign
Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

People who’ve fallen behind on their rent have a little more time in their homes, since a federal eviction moratorium has been extended to the end of January.

Emphasizing that his focus remains on Florida's elderly population, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said teachers and school staff should not expect to be prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19 -- at least for now.

The governor’s comments came as a new semester kicked off in most Florida school districts, leaving many school employees wondering if they will be among the groups at the top of the state’s priority list in the early stages of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.


St. Johns County residents can begin making coronavirus vaccination appointments later this week.

A man receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Clay County is not taking any more COVID-19 vaccination appointments until another shipment of shots comes in.

Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Appointment slots for COVID vaccines this week in Nassau County are full, according to the county’s website.

As coronavirus numbers rise to unprecedented heights, the University of South Florida is rolling out a plan to test all residential students upon their return to campus.

“The virus activity in almost every community in America is higher than it's ever been,” said Joseph Puccio, executive and medical director of Student Health Services at USF.


Duval County's health department is now accepting appointments online for COVID-19 vaccinations for people 65 years old and older, along with healthcare workers and EMS workers who have direct patient contact.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is pictured.
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

The Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County is now vaccinating people 65 and older after receiving its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. However, new appointments are not currently being accepted, the county said, and people should "check back this weekend" for further information.

Could Schools Eventually Require Coronavirus Vaccines?

Dec 31, 2020

Schools typically have a list of vaccines students are required to get before coming to class, preventing illnesses like the measles or chicken pox. Could a coronavirus vaccine join the group in the future?

Dr. Marissa Levine, professor with the University of South Florida's College of Public Health, says maybe.

The coronavirus can spread from person to person easily, which Levine said is an important factor when states consider which disease vaccinations are required from its students.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on millions of people around the world. In the United States, Black people are more at risk of dying from or developing serious complications from the virus. The economic fallout has also had a disproportionate impact on minorities, and the summer of racial justice protests has only compounded the mental and emotional stress for some.

DeSantis Urges Patience Amid Demand For COVID-19 Vaccinations

Dec 31, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday asked Floridians to be patient as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out for the state’s seniors, a process that is already creating a rush and placing a substantial burden on hospitals that play a key role in carrying out the governor’s directives.

DeSantis departed last week from federal guidelines and decided to make people 65 and older a priority for vaccinations, as opposed to “essential” workers such as teachers, first responders and grocery-store employees.

Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is asking for patience as the hotline to set an appointment for COVID-19 vaccinations in Duval County has been frustrating callers since it went live at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

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

Duval County residents 65 and older and health care workers with direct exposure to patients can call the health department to get vaccinated against coronavirus starting Wednesday morning, Dec. 30.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Clay County announced on Tuesday it will be giving residents 65 and older and health care workers COVID-19 vaccines by appointment, starting Monday, Jan. 4.

JFRD Employees To Get Vaccinated For COVID-19 At Convention Center

Dec 28, 2020
woman administering a shot to a man's arm
JFRD via Mayor Lenny Curry/Twitter

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department employees are expected to start vaccinating the public for COVID-19 as early as next month, but that’s not until they get the vaccine themselves.

Duval County Mask Mandate Extended Into January

Dec 24, 2020
Face masks hanging on a cabinet
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Mayor Lenny Curry has extended Duval County’s mask mandate through at least Jan. 25, according to WJCT News partner News4Jax.

Jacksonville First Responders Get COVID-19 Vaccinations

Dec 24, 2020
Mike Simon / AP Photo

Jacksonville fire and rescue personnel got vaccinated Wednesday against the COVID-19 virus as the opening stage of vaccines expanded with a shipment of the Moderna doses to the city, Mayor Lenny Curry said.

Blue Jay Listening Room
Blue Jay Listening Room

After months of struggling to make ends meet, the owner of the Blue Jay Listening Room in Jacksonville Beach is starting to feel hopeful as a GoFundMe page launched to keep the business alive nears its $30,000 goal and Congress agrees on a stimulus package that includes $15 billion to support independent music venues like hers. 

Regency Mall coronavirus testing site
Nomi Health

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Jacksonville and across the state of Florida, residents are being encouraged to take advantage of free testing, especially before exposing themselves to family or friends outside their household. 

Bowman 4th Jacksonville Council Member To Test Positive For COVID-19

Dec 21, 2020
Bowman speaking at microphone at City Hall
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

Aaron Bowman became the fourth Jacksonville City Council member to test positive for the COVID-19 virus this year when he got test results Sunday showing the infection.

photo of the two women smiling

Two beloved teachers at Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian Academy have died from complications due to COVID-19, a school spokesman confirmed.

video screenshot
Rebekah Jones via Twitter

A fired Florida Department of Health data analyst who contends Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has manipulated COVID-19 statistics filed a lawsuit Sunday alleging state law-enforcement agents violated her rights when they searched her home and hauled away computer equipment.

Noting a limited amount of COVID-19 vaccine available for distribution in December, the state’s largest physicians association urged people Thursday to be patient.

This July 2020 photo shows a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.
Hans Pennink / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the initial distribution plan for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, assuming it's approved. A key FDA panel is meeting Thursday to consider recommending the vaccine’s approval.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Start At Florida Nursing Homes As 'Each Day Matters'

Dec 17, 2020
News Service of Florida

Long-term care residents and staff members at facilities in Broward and Pinellas counties began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday after Gov. Ron DeSantis directed “strike” teams to use the state’s supply of a coveted Pfizer vaccine at the facilities.

Leon County’s health department is set to receive thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the company Moderna. Florida’s governor anticipates the Moderna vaccine arriving in the state next week.

On Tuesday, The Florida Department of Health in Leon County shared the news: The county will be one of several in Florida participating in a pilot program to inoculate people against COVID-19.

Florida Retailers Navigate Holiday Shopping

Dec 16, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have hurt many industries, and while we hear about restaurants and hospitality, retail is also reeling.

As retail stores were forced to close during Florida’s stay at home order, small business owners like Sarah Byron of Pop Toy Co. in Naples, says they were able to remain open by adapting their sales tactics.

TALLAHASSEE --- A new forecast for Medicaid shows state economists and health officials continue to predict a jump in the number of people enrolling in the coming year --- bringing a dramatic surge in the amount of money needed for the safety-net program.

COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Naval Hospital Jacksonville on Dec. 15.
Yan Kennon / Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Naval Hospital Jacksonville has received an initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines.