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Abe Aboraya

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.

Contact Abe at 407-273-2300 x 183 on Twitter  @AbeAboraya or by  email

  • Florida added 20,133 cases Thursday, an increase over the last three days, continuing an upward surge from COVID-19.Statewide, another 400 patients were hospitalized in the last day, continuing a record-breaking surge of patients. Currently, more than 12,888 people are hospitalized statewide – and nearly 2,600 are in the intensive care unit.The State Board of Education is set to review a proposed policy, Aug. 6, that would allow for Hope Scholarship vouchers to be made available to students in public school districts with mask mandates, whose parents don't want their kids wearing masks in the classroom.Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is now asking the federal government for additional school funding that could offset lost state dollars to districts that defy Gov. DeSantis’ executive order barring them from mandating masks.Lee Health and Sarasota Memorial Hospital officials say elective surgeries are being postponed in order to redirect staff and other resources amid the ongoing surge in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings heads to court Aug. 6. The Miami-based company is requesting that a federal judge overturn Florida’s ban on vaccine passports.President Joe Biden said he’s buying struggling renters time with a new eviction moratorium that might not pass Constitutional muster. The new, more focused order only extends to areas of high COVID transmission. That includes all of Florida.
  • More Floridians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any point in the pandemic: more than 12,400 patients across the sunshine state.Hospital systems in Southwest Florida continue to report increases in COVID-19 patient hospitalizations and the Florida Hospital Association reports, 60 percent of Florida’s hospitals say they will have a critical staff shortage in the next week.Broward, Duval and Alachua County School District officials plan to have mask mandates when schools reopen this month, in defiance of an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis barring schools from imposing masking rules.Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state does not plan on reopening coronavirus testing sites despite the current surge in cases.
  • State Health officials reported 3.406 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths Monday. Nearly 6.4 million people in Florida have been vaccinated including nearly 2.7 million who have received a first dose and nearly 3.7 million who have completed the series.As of Monday, all adults 18 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Sixteen and 17-year-olds also became eligible for the vaccine, Monday, but teenagers are restricted to the Pfizer version of the vaccine and must have parental consent.Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order, Friday, banning businesses from using vaccine passports to require people to prove they’ve been vaccinated in order to receive services.The Florida Legislature is taking up budget proposals this week and how to use Florida’s share of federal funds stemming from the American Rescue Plan remains a point of contention in budget negotiations.Lawmakers in the state House and Senate are considering several pieces of legislation to limit local-government emergency orders, create a personal-protective equipment stockpile and establish an Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund for use by the governor.Sarasota city commissioners are taking steps to reinstate a mandatory mask ordinance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • State health officials reported 4,599 new COVID-19 cases and 55 deaths, Wednesday for a total of more than 1.9 million infections and 33,120 deaths since the start of the pandemic. So far more than 4.4 million people in Florida have received a vaccine dose, including nearly 2.5 million people who have completed the vaccine series.Governor Ron DeSantis wants to use some of the money coming to Florida through the federal COVID-19 relief bill to provide $1,000 bonuses to firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first responders. He also wants $260 million to go to supporting Florida’s struggling seaports and $50 million to be allocated to the state’s tourism marketing arm Visit Florida to help revitalize the tourism industry.The Florida Senate is set to vote today on a bill protecting businesses and healthcare providers from pandemic-related litigation. A bill cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud passed its first Senate committee this week.New CDC guidelines recommend that nursing home residents be allowed to see visitors in person.Two pediatricians in Boca Raton have published a study after a vaccinated woman with no history of COVID-19 gave birth to a baby with COVID-19 antibodies.A new report from a national COVID-19 commission reports a dramatic rise in domestic violence amid the pandemic.
  • State Health officials reported 2,826 new COVID-19 cases and 93 deaths on Monday. Meanwhile more than 4.2 million people in Florida have been vaccinated, including more than 1.88 people who have received a first dose, more than 2.2 million who have completed the series with two doses and more than 90,000 people who have received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis expanded vaccine eligibility to adults 60 and older and he expressed confidence that Florida will open vaccine eligibility to all adults by President Joe Biden’s deadline of May 1.
  • State health officials reported 3,312 COVID-19 cases, Monday and 81 deaths. Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida’s vaccine eligibility will be expanded to any one 60 and older on March 15. Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried is criticizing DeSantis’ vaccine rollout, saying it should be easier for medically vulnerable people to prove they’re eligible. DeSantis is criticizing the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package, saying it penalizes states like Florida where officials reopened the economy relatively quickly. DeSantis is calling on the federal government to revise its distribution model, arguing that money should be allocated on a per-capita basis. Elected officials and advocates in Palm Beach County say the state should prioritize vaccines for farmworkers.
  • Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is growing as Governor Ron DeSantis amended a previous executive order, Monday, to expand vaccine access to teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers 50 and older. Younger people with medical conditions that would make them extremely vulnerable to the virus can also now get the vaccine through physicians’ offices and pharmacies. Previously that demographic’s access to the vaccine was limited to hospitals.Florida expects to receive 175,000 doses of the newly FDA-approved single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week.
  • State health officials reported 11,015 new COVID-19 cases, Monday, for a total of 1,212,581 cases.The Florida Department of Health also reported 112 new coronavirus-related deaths, Dec. 21, increasing the statewide death toll to 20,976 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
  • State health officials reported 6,331 COVID-19 cases, Wednesday, for a total of 944,745 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 94 new coronavirus-related deaths, Nov. 23, increasing the statewide death toll to 18,310 fatalities.Over the past seven days, the single-day average number of new infections reported has increased to 7,529 cases. The average number of daily deaths reported over the past week has increased to nearly 72 fatalities a day.
  • Are you voting by mail for the first time? Here's what you need to do to make sure your vote will be counted.