Hospitals in Southwest Florida continue to report declines in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Lee Health officials say they plan to comply with a new Biden Administration rule requiring some employers to require workers to be vaccinated or to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.Child advocates and Democrats are criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis after his administration passed on $820 million in federal funds to help feed children from low-income families who are out of school due to a COVID-19 infection or exposure.The Lee County School District has changed its policy to allow parents to opt their children out of mask-wearing in school without a doctor’s note.Thousands of Sarasota parents turned out for an event last weekend, where physicians were providing medical exemption forms to the school district’s mask mandate.Florida Deputy Secretary for Health Shamarial Roberson, who has been critical in the state’s COVID tracking and response, announced her resignation.Collier County officials have announced plans for spending $74 million in federal American Rescue Plan fundingA consortium of Sarasota arts organizations announced plans to adopt uniform COVID safety policies that require vaccines or proof of a negative COVID test.
A Leon County judge heard closing arguments, Thursday, in a lawsuit challenging Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring school districts from imposing student mask mandates. A ruling is expected Friday morning.COVID-19 infections in Southwest Florida schools have skyrocketed since classes resumed earlier this month.COVID-19 hospitalization rates in Southwest Florida continue to strain Southwest Florida health care symptoms with Lee Health reporting another record-high number of patients. Lee Health and Sarasota Memorial Hospital are at 99% and 97% of staffed operational bed capacity, respectively.Governor Ron DeSantis was in Immokalee Thursday to announce the opening of another state-run monoclonal antibody clinic.