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Bailey LeFever

  • An expert said communities could use the data to predict trends in cases.
  • Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties spilled more than nine million gallons of wastewater from sewage plants in 2020.
  • Sarasota Schools are not requiring masks right now.
  • Physician and researcher Dr. Joseph Ladapo was announced, Tuesday, as Florida’s new Surgeon General. In a news conference, Ladapo discussed his objection to mandates and lockdowns as tools to quell the spread of COVID-19, saying whether to get the vaccine should be a personal choice.Pfizer-BioNTech says its vaccine trial for 5-11-year-old kids is showing promising initial results. A vaccine for children may be approved by November or December.Manatee County Commissioners are among local elected leaders raising concerns about possibly being caught between state law banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates and President Biden's proposed federal mandate requiring large employers to require workers to get vaccinated, or be tested for the virus weekly.
  • Safety measures like proof of vaccination will make customers feel more protected, the store's co-owner and legal counsel said.
  • Hospital officials from across Florida addressed members of the Florida House Pandemic and Public Emergencies Committee, calling impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic “devastating,” and highlighting the financial toll that treating COVID-19 hospitalized patients is having on healthcare systems.Hospitals in Southwest Florida continue to report declines in their populations of hospitalized COVID-19 patients even as the death toll remains high. State health officials reported 2,468 new COVID-19 deaths across Florida over the past week, bringing the statewide death toll from the pandemic to 51,240 fatalities.A Sarasota store owner has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s Surgeon General challenging a law that bars business owners from requiring proof of customers’ vaccination status before entering.
  • Two lawsuits over mask wearing in Florida schools will get hearings today. A state judge is considering whether local school district mandates will be able to stay in place until an appeals court weighs in on a ruling last month that struck down Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring school districts from imposing student mask mandates. A separate federal suit arguing that kids with disabilities and severe medical conditions are so vulnerable that they won’t be able to go to school unless everyone is wearing a mask.Statewide COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are on the decline. Health officials are cautiously optimistic as hospital resources remain strained.More COVID-19 cases have been reported in Lee County schools in the first four weeks of this school year than were reported in the entire last school year. The number of COVID infections reported in Collier County Schools is on pace to surpass the last school year’s total by the end of this month.Gas prices in Florida over the Labor Day holiday weekend were at their highest level in seven years due to the pandemic and impacts from Hurricane Ida.