COVID-19

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.

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.

Monkey looking up at the sky. Looks like its in a tree
Via Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

In an effort to recoup some of its financial losses after a two-month closure due to COVID-19, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is holding a fundraiser to try to bring in $250,000 by this Sunday, Sept. 20.

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.

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.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office exterior
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Duval County Supervisor of Elections’ call center was shut down this week after several employees who worked during the primary tested positive for COVID-19.

Pictured: COVID-19 testing lab
Charles Krupa / Associated Press

COVID-19 cases among the student body have been confirmed at two of Jacksonville’s private college preparatory schools following a social gathering among some of their students.

Mayor Lenny Curry speaking during a virtual press conference.
City of Jacksonville

The city of Jacksonville has partnered with local hospitals and hospital administrators on a public service announcement urging residents to wear masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

A custodian cleans a desk in a classroom.
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

Baker County students headed back to school Monday morning with no mask requirement in place.

A sign reading "Still Open" hangs outside of a restaurant.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

An executive order signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis loosens the criteria for restaurant employees with coronavirus to return to work.

The Zim vessel Cape Sounio at JAXPORT in March 2019.
JAXPORT

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.

The BioLife Plasma Services Center in Arlington
BioLife Plasma Services

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

Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

The St. Johns County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to push back the start of the school year until August 31, citing concerns related to the coronavirus and the upcoming Republican National Convention in Jacksonville.

Outside the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida.
Via UNF

The University of North Florida is announcing the safety precautions it’ll be taking to prepare for the fall 2020 semester. 

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

A St. Johns County Commissioner proposed a mandatory mask mandate during Tuesday’s special emergency meeting, but the motion failed as none of the other commissioners were willing to second the proposal, even as one of their colleagues is in “critical” condition due to complications from COVID-19.

Climate strikers gather in front of Jacksonville City Hall in September of 2019.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

A recent poll from Florida Atlantic University finds that the coronavirus pandemic has not significantly changed the way Floridians feel about climate change.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry
City of Jacksonville

Mayor Lenny Curry says, effective immediately, city code enforcement will be monitoring businesses throughout Jacksonville to make sure state ordered capacity guidelines are being followed.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, holds up a graph concerning COVID-19 cases in Florida as he speaks about opening businesses.
John Raoux / Associated Press

A Jacksonville-based data scientist says the way Florida presents COVID-19 data to the public is misleading, and he worries it’s being done deliberately to help support efforts to reopen the state.

Empty interior of the Five Points Chapel & Event Hall.
Five Points Chapel & Event Hall

A new wedding and event venue recently opened in Riverside. Then the pandemic hit.

Downtown Jacksonville
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The number of pollution violations issued in Jacksonville has significantly declined since coronavirus brought everything to a screeching halt in March. But it’s not clear whether there’s actually less pollution or it’s just because routine inspections have been put on hold during the pandemic.

A car stops to pick up reemployment forms.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

As Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to tout improvements to Florida’s unemployment system, some First Coast applicants who believe they qualify for assistance are being told they’re not eligible.

12 Kids Treated In Jacksonville For Suspected COVID-Linked Syndrome

May 21, 2020
exterior of the main hospital building Downtown
Wolfson Children's

Florida has a growing number of children with a COVID-19 related illness, but how long it has been attacking children and the number of pediatric patients who have been treated remains a mystery.

North Florida Rep. Al Lawson
Office of Rep. Al Lawson

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL 5) is co-sponsoring the Save Our Streets (SOS)  Act to give small businesses and nonprofits up to $250,000 to help them deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Edward Waters College
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Thanks to millions of dollars in federal aid and the potential for record enrollment this fall, Edward Waters College looks as if it will make it through the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed.

Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

The Chair of Jacksonville’s Special Committee on Resiliency, tasked with helping the city prepare for the impacts of sea level rise, is proposing three new subcommittees to better engage the public ahead of the committee’s first meeting since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to a question at a news conference at the Urban League of Broward County, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Since late March, Florida hotels have been allowed to operate without state restrictions, while rental properties across the street or even in the same building have gathered dust.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Ascension St. Vincent's staff.
City of Jacksonville

Governor Ron DeSantis says Florida will be in full Phase 1 of reopening by Monday, after the state was effectively shut down to stop the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.

FSCJ's Deerwood Center
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida State College at Jacksonville and Edward Waters College are both expecting to receive more federal CARES Act funding, on top of the millions of dollars they’ve already been given in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bogey Creek Preserve
North Florida Land Trust

The Bogey Creek Preserve park in Jacksonville will reopen on Tuesday for the first time since mid-March, when it was closed due to the coronavirus.

A COVID-19 health advisory blocks the seat next to a woman riding a JTA bus.
Jeffrey Leeser / JTA

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is getting more than $15 million from the federal government to help maintain service during the coronavirus pandemic.

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