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Joe Brynes

  • A federal judge struck down a lawsuit from parents of disabled children, Wednesday, that challenged Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring Florida school districts from imposing mandatory mask mandates on students.AARP is sounding the alarm as CDC data shows that COVID-19 deaths in Florida nursing homes have sharply increased in the past month amid a statewide surge in new infections and deaths.County-level data on COVID-19 deaths in Florida is once again available, more than three months after the state stopped publicly reporting the information through its COVID-19 online dashboard.Lee Health continues to report gradual declines in its hospitalized COVID patient population, even as resources remain significantly strained.The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida is downplaying concerns that a federal mandate requiring vaccination of most hospital employees will exacerbate the healthcare worker shortage.
  • Florida ranks 2nd among states with fastest COVID-19 spread on a per-person basis.Lee Health was operating at 99% of staffed operational bed capacity amid the ongoing surge in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. On Monday, Lee Health reported a record high single day COVID death rate of 18 patients. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s hospital has never been as full as it is now. Cape Coral Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital now have mobile refrigerated trucks providing additional morgue space.Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is withholding funds from the Alachua and Broward School Districts over their student mask mandates, despite Friday’s circuit court ruling striking down Gov. DeSantis’ executive order barring schools from imposing mandatory mask rules.The Lee County School District will begin enforcing a mask mandate for students on Wednesday. The Sarasota County School District began enforcing a mandatory mask mandate on Monday.The Manatee County Sheriff’s office announced a deputy has died of COVID-19, and the Lee County Sheriff’s office announced, Tuesday, that a second corrections deputy has died of COVID-19 this month.