Jan 6, 2021

DeSantis maintains opposition to local COVID rules

Gov. Ron DeSantis strongly reaffirmed his opposition to local government officials’ attempts to impose their own rules to curb the spread of COVID-19, saying Wednesday that such measures “are not effective.”

Appearing at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola to discuss the state’s vaccination efforts, DeSantis reiterated his position that mandates, lockdowns, and fines for violating mask restrictions don’t work.

Jan 6, 2021

By the Numbers: Covid-19 deaths by age

As of a Tuesday count, 21,188 Florida residents had died of COVID-19, with seniors taking the brunt of the disease. Here is a breakdown of resident deaths by age group:

— Ages 4 and younger: 0 deaths

— Ages 5 to 14: 5 deaths

Jan 5, 2021

Senate Environmental Panel to look at ‘resiliency’

With calls growing for lawmakers to pay more attention to climate change, the state Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection and the chief resiliency officer position are slated to be reviewed Monday by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The resiliency officer position is among the duties of Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah […]

Jan 5, 2021

Judge to weigh case on unemployment problems

A Leon County circuit judge has scheduled a hearing next month to decide whether to toss out a class-action lawsuit that seeks damages because of problems with the state’s unemployment-compensation system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 5, 2021

By the numbers: adult ICU beds available by county

As hospitals treat thousands of COVID-19 patients, the state Agency for Health Care Administration updates information about available intensive-care unit beds. As of about 6 p.m. Monday, 19.7 percent of adult intensive-care unit beds statewide were available,  but numbers varied by county. Here were county-by-county percentages of available adult ICU beds as of Monday:

— Hendry County: 100 percent

— Martin County: 65.2 percent

Jan 4, 2021

Teachers not prioritized for vaccinations

Emphasizing that his focus remains on Florida’s elderly population, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said teachers and school staff should not expect to be prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19 — at least for now.

The governor’s comments came as a new semester kicked off in most Florida school districts, leaving many school employees wondering if they will be among the groups at the top of the state’s priority list in the early stages of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Jan 4, 2021

DeSantis looks to step up vaccinations

Gov. Ron DeSantis, dealing with a frantic demand for COVID-19 vaccinations across the state, promised Monday that he would strip allotments from hospitals that don’t use them quickly enough and shift the doses to other health-care providers. Appearing at an Orlando Health hospital in Seminole County, DeSantis outlined several other steps the state plans to […]

Jan 4, 2021

Fried wants National Guard to help with vaccine distribution

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Wednesday called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to mobilize the National Guard to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

In a letter to DeSantis, Fried said distribution has been characterized in media reports as “very chaotic” and that there is a lack of “clear direction” for health-care professionals on vaccination procedures.

Jan 4, 2021

Supreme Court set to hear water battle

After years of battling between Florida and Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court next month will again take up a dispute about water in a river system that links the two states.

The Supreme Court last week scheduled oral arguments Feb. 22 in the case about divvying up water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, which stretches from northern Georgia to Apalachicola Bay in Franklin County.

Jan 4, 2021

Five Florida legal fights to watch in 2021

 From a water battle to a gun law passed after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, courts are grappling with numerous major Florida legal issues. Here are five cases to watch in 2021:

APALACHICOLA WATER WAR: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in February in a long-running battle between Florida and Georgia about water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, which links the two states.

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