COVID-19

COVID-19 treatment drug arriving to Florida hospitals

COVID-19 treatment drug arriving to Florida hospitals

Within the next two days, hospitals across Florida will receive 30,000 more vials of Remdesivir, a drug that has shown some effectiveness in treating COVID-19 according Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis provided an update on the state’s efforts Saturday during a press conference in St. Augustine. He said the new drug supplies equate to 5,000 to […]

Walmart announces required face masks at all stores

Walmart announces required face masks at all stores

Starting July 20, Walmart will require all customers to wear face masks while shopping. The nation’s largest retailer, which has more than 5,000 stores nationwide, made an announcement Wednesday requiring masks at all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores to limit the spread of COVID-19. “To best serve our communities and protect the health and safety […]

UPDATE: UWF worker suspension email an error

UPDATE: UWF worker suspension email an error

UPDATE: An email issued to the employees of a University of West Florida department stating work, and pay, would be suspended for a month has been called an error by the university.  News and Publicity Director Tom St. Myer issued an email statement July 14 that reads: “The University of West Florida has not established […]

No end in sight to shutdown of bars in Florida

No end in sight to shutdown of bars in Florida

Buying alcohol will remain a to-go-only option at Florida bars for the foreseeable future as coronavirus cases continue to spike. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday the state isn’t changing a decision last month to reimpose a ban on bars selling alcohol for on-site consumption because of widespread non-compliance with coronavirus safety measures. “So, right now, […]

County services, libraries cutback due to COVID spike

County services, libraries cutback due to COVID spike

Due to increasing COVID-19 cases in Santa Rosa County, County Administrator Dan Schebler announced July 9 the county is cutting back face-to-face interactions where feasible. In the last week, Santa Rosa County added 341 new cases, bringing the total cases to more than 1,000.   County departments will coordinate customer service and citizen interactions by appointment […]

DeSantis vows there will be safe environment for RNC

DeSantis vows there will be safe environment for RNC

Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Thursday that the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville will be “a safe environment,” despite widespread concerns about increasing coronavirus cases across Florida,   DeSantis, during an appearance in Jacksonville, said he wasn’t surprised about talk of moving some of the four-night event from inside the 15,000-seat VyStar Veterans Memorial […]

65th annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival cancelled

65th annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival cancelled

Due to health and safety concerns posed by COVID-19, Krewe of Bowlegs and Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce have cancelled the 2020 Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival and Torchlight Parade.  The announcement was made via press release Wednesday. The festivities had already been rescheduled from the last weekend of June to July 31-Aug. 3. […]

Florida schools ordered to reopen in August

Florida schools ordered to reopen in August

Ana Ceballos News Service of Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Monday ordered public schools to reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to students and families.  As COVID-19 outbreaks spike in Florida, Corcoran’s mandate said that extending school closures can impede students’ educational success and prevent parents and guardians from returning […]

UPDATE: Blue Angels show cancelled for July 8-11

UPDATE: Blue Angels show cancelled for July 8-11

The 2020 Pensacola Beach Air Show, originally scheduled for July 8-11, has been cancelled according to a press release. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels team informed the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA) of their decision to cancel their performance on Thursday afternoon. In a statement from the Blue Angels: “After much discussion and consideration regarding […]

Sales tax projected down by $9 million

Sales tax projected down by $9 million

The word of the day when it comes to Santa Rosa County budgets is conservative. While the five-year, half cent local option sales tax (LOST) has allowed the county to be less thrifty with capital improvements since 2017, County Administrator Dan Schebler said those expenditures going forward will be on a tight leash. That’s because, […]

NHS football reacts quickly to potential COVID exposure

NHS football reacts quickly to potential COVID exposure

Navarre’s football team quickly dealt with a situation involving a handful of players that were at a gathering with someone outside the program displaying COVID-19 symptoms. As a precaution, all six players were sent home prior to the team’s summer workout Wednesday. None showed signs of the virus. They did not attend Thursday’s workout either. […]

The view from the press box

The view from the press box

The new normal is here for high school athletics. How long it lasts remains to be seen. But at least for the next four weeks, social distancing, temperature checks and hand sanitizer will all be part of the equation when it comes to summer workouts. It’s great athletes are getting a chance to get out […]

Vacation rentals expand to parts of Louisiana, other states

Vacation rentals expand to parts of Louisiana, other states

Vacation rentals in Santa Rosa County expanded to include parts of Louisiana and other states with higher rates of COVID-19 infection. Quarantine orders for Louisiana visitors have been lifted. State officials cleared the county’s modified plan June 4, allowing rentals to be screened county-by-county rather than statewide. Any county or parish with more than 1,000 […]

State ends I-10 COVID-19 checkpoint

State ends I-10 COVID-19 checkpoint

News Service of Florida Motorists traveling from Alabama into Florida on I-10 will no longer face being stopped for COVID-19 checks. The Florida Department of Transportation announced Friday that a checkpoint east of the Florida-Alabama border is being deactivated as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis starting the second phase of a COVID-19 economic recovery plan. […]

BREAKING: Bars, pubs, movie theaters to re-open Friday

BREAKING: Bars, pubs, movie theaters to re-open Friday

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that bars, pubs and movie theaters will re-open at 50% capacity starting Friday.  He said this is the start of Phase II of the ‘Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step’ plan to re-open after COVID-19 induced statewide closures. The governor made the announcement during a press conference in Orlando at Universal Studios, which […]

Vacation rentals could open to Louisiana visitors

Vacation rentals could open to Louisiana visitors

Santa Rosa County plans to expand who can book vacation rentals, including adding parts of Louisiana to the allowable list under COVID-19 limitations. At this time, 12 states throughout the U.S. are barred from renting along Navarre Beach due to coronavirus concerns. The limitation, approved by the state earlier this month, is set at 500 […]

Restrictions lifted on youth sports and summer camps

Restrictions lifted on youth sports and summer camps

Governor Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference Friday morning he is lifting restrictions on youth sports and summer camps in the state of Florida. The decision is effective immediately despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We believe that this makes sense based on the data and observed experience,” DeSantis said. “We are not going to […]

OneBlood testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibody

OneBlood testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibody

If you donate blood with OneBlood you will find out if you have the coronavirus antibody. That’s because OneBlood, the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, is testing all donations for the COVID-19 antibody. The antibody test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will indicate […]

Why no vacation rentals?

Why no vacation rentals?

Tourism tax revenues for March were down by nearly 53%, and April and May are expected to be down by about 90%, according to Tourist Development Director Julie White. She said she expects a loss of as much as $1.5 million in tax revenue, out of a typically less than $4 million budget. COVID-19 has […]

How many people have recovered from COVID-19?

How many people have recovered from COVID-19?

It seems like a simple question. How many of the tens of thousands of Floridians that tested positive for COVID-19 are no longer sick? The answer is a bit complicated. That is because there is currently no official definition of “recovered” from COVID-19 according to the Florida Department of Health. By technical standard, no one […]

Unemployment system “built to fail”

Unemployment system “built to fail”

In March 2019, Florida’s auditor general issued a report outlining 17 major issues found with operations of the state’s $77.9 million CONNECT unemployment system. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) had been receiving similar less than shining audits of the Reemployment Assistance System since the program launched in 2013. Throughout that time, the system was […]

Hotels reassure guests of a “Safe Stay”

Hotels reassure guests of a “Safe Stay”

As tourism industry leaders appointed to the Re-Open Florida Task Force discussed getting the industry back on its feet, one of the common concerns was traveler confidence. Harris Poll data as of May 3 still show consumers leery about travel despite a significant reduction in COVID-19’s spread. About 55% of those surveyed said it would […]

Governor re-opens gyms, offers hope for vacation rentals

Governor re-opens gyms, offers hope for vacation rentals

After days of teasing further re-opening of Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced May 15 gyms and fitness centers will be able to join the growing list of re-opened businesses.  Florida will be moving to a “full Phase I” DeSantis said during a press conference in Jacksonville. DeSantis said the expansion of opening will begin Monday […]

Taylor was just getting into groove when season ended

Taylor was just getting into groove when season ended

Four hours had passed since the University of West Florida softball team hit the road. Its trip to Cleveland, Tennessee for a weekend series was halfway over. But it was right around that time that Navarre alum Callan Taylor and her teammates started checking their phones. Updates at this point on a mid-March afternoon were […]

NYSA cancels spring rec sports season

NYSA cancels spring rec sports season

Paul Villanova said discussions about the Navarre Youth Sports Association’s spring rec sports season had been going on since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, the decision was made to cancel the season. It normally wraps up around the end of May. As surrounding counties began the process to restart youth sports programming, […]

SBA under fire for handling of COVID-19 response

SBA under fire for handling of COVID-19 response

With small businesses across the U.S. threatened with permanent closure due to COVID-19 interruptions, the U.S. government set aside $349 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), these loans were meant to keep small businesses afloat and workers in their jobs. Small businesses could apply for the loan […]

1 2 3 6