COVID-19

John Lennon at a press conference in 1971.
Associated Press

October 9, 2020, would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, and to honor his life, Feeding Florida is giving residents the opportunity to help fight hunger in the state by buying a special "Imagine" license plate tag.

Close-up of Oxycodone bottle.
Cindy Shebley / Flickr.com

A free at-home medication disposal program is looking to address opioid overdoses, which have spiked in Jacksonville and across the country since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

An economic impact payment check
Eric Gay / Associated Press

More than 567,000 Floridians are among the estimated 9 million Americans who don’t regularly file taxes and still have not received their pandemic stimulus checks from the federal government.

A flu shot being given
Indiana Public Media

If you want to get a flu shot, Florida Blue is offering a drive-thru vaccination clinic at the St. Johns Town Center on Wednesday.

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

An infectious disease specialist is warning that as Florida pulls back on business and capacity restrictions, more people are likely to die of the coronavirus.

A OneBlood Big Red Bus sitting at FSCJ's Downtown Campus.
Blake Allen / WJCT News

Federal and local law enforcement officials who have recovered from COVID-19 are partnering with OneBlood to raise awareness about plasma donations.

Rapid Test Kits Headed To Fla.

Sep 29, 2020
Someone getting tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru testing site, someone reaching into a car where a patient is, while dressed in a mask and gown and gloves.
John Raoux / Associated Press


Florida will receive 400,000 rapid-test kits a week that can be used to detect COVID-19 infections at schools, senior centers and long-term care facilities, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday at a news conference in Clearwater. 

a black woman using a nose swab to test for COVID-19 on another black man, who has his head titled back.
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

African Americans are 2.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, while Hispanic, Latinx, and indigenous groups are 1.5 more likely to die, according to the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Mark Wieland.

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.

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