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  • CDC data shows Florida had more daily COVID deaths in August 2021 then during the previous pandemic peak of August 2020.COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers in Florida.A Venice chiropractor has signed more than 500 medical mask exemption forms for students in Sarasota, prompting the district to tighten its mandatory mask policy.Gov. DeSantis is appealing last week’s circuit court ruling striking down his executive order barring school districts from imposing student mask mandates.Lee Health, Physicians Regional Healthcare System and Sarasota Memorial Hospital reported declines in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, Thursday, while NCH, Manatee Memorial and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center all reported COVID patient increases.A Lehigh Acres couple faces up to 30 years in prison on charges stemming from COVID relief funding fraud.
  • State health officials reported 2,327 new COVID-19 cases and 66 deaths, Wednesday for a total of more than 2.3 million infections and more than 37,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. So far, more than 10 million people in Florida have been vaccinated, including more than eight million people who have completed a two-dose series or received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.Governor Ron DeSantis singed a bill into law this week providing $1,000 bonuses to teachers and principals of charter schools and traditional public schools. DeSantis also signed a bill into law aimed at increasing protections against pandemic-related fraud and scams.The City of Naples is set to end its distribution of COVID-19 vaccines on Friday as demand has waned. The city is also looking to end temporary use permits for restaurants that have allowed for expanded outdoor dining.Florida Conservation Voters is criticizing Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature for failing to put any federal pandemic relief money towards helping Floridians who’ve struggled to pay their utility bills during the pandemic. Between August 2020 and March 2021 more than 610,000 residential utility lines were cut off by the big five investor-owned utility companies in Florida. Of those, 59,000 haven’t been restored.
  • State health officials reported 4,237 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths on Monday. The latest single-day positivity rate reported by the state Division of Emergency Management increased to 10.84%, which is the highest reported since Jan. 28.More than eight million people in Florida have been vaccinated including more than 2.9 million who have received a first dose and more than 5.1 million people who have completed the series.Lee Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccine dose appointments to any Floridian 18 or older. The Health system is encouraging more people to get the vaccine and to continue following CDC guidelines as hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks.FEMA-run vaccine sites in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa are now offering Pfizer vaccine doses with no appointment necessary.The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday that Florida’s unemployment rate was unchanged in March, remaining at 4.7%. The jobs report indicates a slight uptick in the number of people deemed out of work, as the hospitality industry continues to lag in job growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Eight workers with a Sarasota-based tax preparation business have been arrested on coronavirus relief fraud charges. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office says they filed 114 fraudulent applications in an effort to receive more than $319,000 in federal CARES Act funding. Another Florida man alleged to have received more than $7.2 million in pandemic relief funds was arrested on an international warrant in Croatia.
  • Severe winter weather in other parts of the country continues to delay Moderna COVID-19 shipments to Florida. First dose appointments in Southwest Florida are temporarily postponed. Gov. Ron DeSantis faces criticism over a state-run pop-up vaccine clinic in Lakewood Ranch that targets residents of a community developed by one of the governor’s campaign contributors. Hospitals in Southwest Florida continue working to vaccinate people younger than 65 who are at higher risk from the virus. Health officials reported more than 7,000 new infections and 157 deaths, Wednesday. According to AAA, the pandemic continues to discourage Floridians from traveling. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warns against COVID-19 vaccine scams.
  • State health officials reported 7,884 COVID-19 cases, Monday, for a total of 1,579,281 infections.The Florida Department of Health also reported 137 coronavirus-related deaths, Monday, increasing the statewide death toll to 24,657 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Leaking roofs, flooded homes, destroyed lawns and wind and water damage: the legacy of Hurricane Irma is still a reality for many living in Southwest…
  • The Identity Fraud Institute at Hodges University hit the ground running several years ago after a private investigator noticed an uptick in the number of…
  • An opioid overdose is an alarmingly frequent call for paramedics and firefighters in South Florida. But according to WLRN reporter Peter Haden, many of…
  • In an effort to combat fraud, children between the ages of 3 and 9 should now be prepared to have their fingers scanned when they enter the Walt Disney...
  • U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida has been indicted after a federal investigation into a fraudulent charity with ties to the congresswoman.