Susan Giles Wantuck
Closing arguments are slated for today (Aug. 26) with a ruling expected Friday in a lawsuit filed by parents challenging Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring school districts from imposing mask mandates for students.Lee Health reported another record-high number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, Wednesday, with 646 patients, including 15 children.A Leon County circuit judge, Wednesday, waded into a lawsuit about whether Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration violated state law when it cut off federal unemployment money in June for tens of thousands of jobless Floridians. A ruling is expected by Friday, though the decision is likely to be appealed.Florida’s Poison Control Centers say they’ve treated nearly 30 Floridians after they took doses of ivermectin in an effort to ward off COVID-19. Ivermectin is a deworming medication used to treat livestock.Tampa Mayor Cathy Castor announced Wednesday that the city will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for the city’s 4,700 employees.The Florida Hospital Association is sounding the alarm, saying a survey shows 68 hospitals have less than a 48-hour supply of oxygen. The lack of available liquid oxygen due to the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations has prompted Tampa Bay water officials to temporarily use bleach at its Lithia Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility, meaning residents may notice slight changes in the way their water tastes and smells.In the past four weeks, the average number of weekly vaccine doses administered in Florida rose by 57% from the previous month. Experts say that's great, but it won't stop the surge overnight.