School Board building exterior
Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

The Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) board chair is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to make teachers and other school workers a priority in the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
Steve Cannon / Associated Press

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning residents to be on the lookout for COVID-19 vaccination scams.

Flagler Hospital
Flagler Health+

St. Johns County School District employees who are 65 or older can now get the COVID-19 vaccine through a new program at Flagler Health+ in St. Augustine.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking in front of the Sawgrass Village Publix in Ponte Vedra Beach.
The Office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement this month that the state is partnering with Publix Supermarkets to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state follows the grocer donating $100,000 to the governor’s political committee.

File photo of a Publix store
Scott Iskowitz / Associated Press

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the state is partnering with Publix to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites at select locations throughout Florida and on Wednesday he said that several would be in St. Johns and Flagler Counties.

A line forms outside the Mandarin Senior Center after Jacksonville announces it will be used as a COVID-19 vaccination site.
Michelle Corum / WJCT News

The two new COVID-19 vaccination sites run by the city of Jacksonville will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis starting Monday.

In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

A healthcare company with its state headquarters in Jacksonville Beach is hoping to start helping administer COVID-19 vaccines by the end of March.

Cars lined up for COVID-19 testing.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases is currently the highest it has ever been in both the state of Florida and Duval County.

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.

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.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

COVID-19 has cost Florida billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The virus has hit the state’s biggest industry — tourism — hard.

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.

DeSantis Breaks With CDC, Puts Vaccine Focus On Seniors Over Essential Workers

Dec 23, 2020
Chris O'Meara / AP Photo

Five more people are confirmed to have died from coronavirus in Duval County since Tuesday, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Duval jumped by nearly 700 overnight. And with two days until Christmas, more than 320 people in the county remain hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19.

Barn decorated with colorful "celestial farms" lettering
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

A farm animal rescue on Jacksonville’s Northside that depends on donations is in danger of closing because of the pandemic. 

The nonprofit Celestial Farms animal sanctuary recently needed to refinance its property — a challenge in an already lean year, as people stopped booking events like weddings. 

Near Jacksonville’s airport, Celestial Farms is home to more than 200 rescue animals, including a cow, horses, goats, rabbits, chickens and pigs. Visitors can also take classes at the farm about nature, gardening and the humane treatment of animals – and even camp on site.

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.

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.

West Nassau High School
West Nassau High School / Facebook

More than 200 West Nassau High School students were quarantined last week after roughly 20 classmates tested positive for COVID-19, the Nassau County School District confirmed Tuesday.

Outside of City Hall, large building with steps leading to the entrance, a couple of palm trees out in the front
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Ahead of the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, local state representatives and senators held their annual Duval Legislative Delegation Meeting to hear the concerns of organizations and community stakeholders.

A closed sign hangs in the door as a maintenance worker passes by.
Matt York / Associated Press

The Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) recently established the Northeast Florida Economic Resilience Taskforce, which aims to help the region recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

man being helped by a nurse while he sits in a hospital bed looking at her.
Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise all week in Duval County, rising once again from Friday morning into the afternoon.

A Phlebotomist draws blood from a patient for COVID-19 antibody testing.
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

A medical company near Orlando is offering up to 5,000 COVID-19 antibody test kits to nonprofits in the Jacksonville area.

Dabbs making something behind the store counter, next to a sign with the store's name, and a bunch of baked goods in front of him.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Michelle and Dabbs McInnis have been selling jellies, baked goods and other food through their Sweet Spot brand for six years. 

a nurse putting on PPE before dealing with patients, in the middle of a hallway with glass panels behind her and a computer in front of her.
Seth Wenig / Associated Press

A Jacksonville nurse says she’s seen an increase in the amount of COVID-19 hospitalizations at her facility, as internal hospital COVID-19 data acquired by WJCT News show an upward trend countywide over roughly the past week. 

nurse tying up their gown before going into a COVID-19 unit.
Eric Gay / Associated Press

The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators and in ICUs has been trending upward at Duval County hospitals over the past month, according to data reviewed by WJCT News that isn’t released to the public. 

Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are seen before they are prepared for RNA testing.
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

Two coronavirus testing sites in Jacksonville will be temporarily closed on Election Day.