PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Stephanie Colombini

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters,WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.

Stephanie was born and raised just outside New York City. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got her start in radio at NPR member station WFUV in 2012. In addition to reporting and anchoring, Stephanie helped launch the news department’s first podcast series, Issues Tank.

Prior to joining the WUSF family, Stephanie spent a year reporting for CBS Radio’s flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880 in Manhattan. Her assignments included breaking news stories such as the 2016 bombings in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and Seaside Park, NJ and political campaigns. As part of her job there, she was forced to – and survived – a night of reporting on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

Her work in feature reporting and podcast production has earned her awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the Alliance for Women in Media.

While off-the-clock, you might catch Stephanie at a rock concert, on a fishing boat or anywhere that serves delicious food.

  • On Saturday, Florida reported the highest single-day number of new COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic. On Sunday, Florida had the highest single-day number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic.Governor Ron DeSantis, Friday announced plans for a new executive order barring schools from requiring mask-wearing.Sarasota Memorial Hospital is no long allowing visitors and NCH announced Friday it will require all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 16.Manatee County officials announced another confirmed COVID-19 death among county staff. An outbreak in June forced the closure of the Manatee County Administration building.A nationwide moratorium on evictions that was put in place amid the pandemic expired Sunday, July 31, and the AP reports, Florida received $870 million in federal funds to help renters who've struggled to keep up with rent payments, but has only distributed 2% of that money.
  • With Florida at the epicenter of a nationwide resurgence of COVID-19 infections, some local governments are defying Republican Governor Ron DeSantis with new mask and vaccine mandates. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried plans to begin providing daily COVID-19 data to the media after the state switched to only providing weekly data in June. Lee Health and NCH hospitals report 600% and 800% increases in COVID-19 patients who are mostly unvaccinated. High levels of community spread and low vaccination rates are putting many nursing homes in Florida at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks. Some facilities are taking extra precautions.
  • The positivity rate for new cases was nearly four times as high as rates from last month as new cases surge and the pace of vaccination stalls.
  • State health officials report that as of Wednesday, more than 9.7 million people in Florida have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including more than two million people who have received a first dose and more than 7.7 million people who have either completed a two-dose series or have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More than 20,000 young teens in Florida have received a vaccine dose since eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine expanded to include people as young as 12 nearly a week ago.Estimates from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports more than 51,100 people in Florida have died from the coronavirus, which is far more than the Florida Department of Health’s official report of nearly 37,000 deaths.Students in Sarasota County schools will no longer have to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19 if they have been fully vaccinated.
  • State health officials reported 3,184 new COVID-19 cases and 51 deaths, Wednesday. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 9.4 million people in Florida have been vaccinated including more than 7.2 million people who have completed a two-dose series or taken the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.Florida officials plan to reinstate a requirement that those receiving state unemployment benefits must show that they’re looking for work and applying for jobs.The Florida Division of Emergency Management this week announced plans to close state-run COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state.The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is going down in Florida, but new admissions are still higher than in most parts of the country, especially for younger and middle-aged adults.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC have now approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-old children.Collier and Manatee County School District officials are looking to make mask wearing optional for summer school and for the new school year that begins this fall.
  • Although the lower positivity rate for new cases is a promising sign, COVID-19 related deaths remain high. The greater Tampa Bay region accounted for nearly half the deaths recorded Wednesday.
  • Activists say the bill is an attack on transgender kids.
  • Florida health officials reported 5,271 new COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths Tuesday for a total of more than 2.2 million infections and more than 35,600 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. The Florida Division of Emergency Management reports that as of Tuesday morning, more than 8.6 million people in the state have received a vaccine including more than 2.7 million who have received a first dose and more than 5.8 million who have completed the series.People seeking vaccine doses at federally-supported clinics in Florida, Monday, were about evenly split between the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This comes after a pause on use of the J&J vaccine was lifted. Federal regulators ordered the temporary halt on administration of the J&J vaccine over very rare instances of people developing blood clots.State legislators are united in an effort to improve the website people use to apply for unemployment benefits after the site crashed last spring as it was inundated with people seeking benefits at the start of the pandemic. However, in the final days of the annual legislative session, lawmakers remain divided over a proposal to increase the maximum weekly unemployment benefit from $275 to $375.Members of a Southwest Florida family accused of selling a toxic industrial bleach as a cure for the coronavirus through their church, have been indicted on federal charges. Last year a federal judge ordered Mark Grenon and his sons to stop selling the substance through Genesis II Church of Health and Healing in Bradenton, but they continued selling it anyway.
  • State health officials reported 5,571 new COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths, Wednesday for a total of more than 2.1 million cases and more than 35,000 deaths statewide since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 8.2 million people in Florida have been vaccinated so far, including more than 2.9 million people who have received a first dose and more than 5.3 million who have completed the series.The University of South Florida is studying whether those with a history of allergies are more at risk for severe reactions from COVID-19 vaccines.The Florida Senate continues to consider a bill that would increase the cap on unemployment benefits from $275 a week to $375 a week, although Gov. Ron DeSantis has voiced opposition to the move.Sarasota Health officials are holding a pop-up vaccine clinic on Saturday for 16 and 17-year-olds.Sarasota is currently experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 infections and reduced vaccine demand.
  • In order to vaccinate enough people to achieve herd immunity, Dr. Marissa Levine with USF Health says community leaders need to engage with those hesitant to get shots.