COVID-19

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 […]

Local numbers of COVID-19

Local numbers of COVID-19

As of May 6, 2020; 2 p.m. Florida cases: 38,002 (1,539 deaths) Escambia County: 604 positive cases (15 deaths) Age range: 0 – 100 Of the 604 positive cases, 147 are long-term care facility residents and 11 have died. Area Positives Pensacola 462 Cantonment 41 Bellview 6 Gulf Breeze (Esc.) 1 Century  2 Perdido Key […]

Baptist accepting visitors on limited basis

Baptist accepting visitors on limited basis

Baptist Health Care announced May 4 that visitors will once again be allowed at some of its facilities in a limited way.  Baptist Hospital and Gulf Breeze Hospital will allow one visitor at a time for inpatient visitation. No visitors will be allowed who have COVID-19 symptoms, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control […]

Regulator details restaurant rules

Regulator details restaurant rules

By Jim Turner News Service of Florida Tallahassee – Servers and other employees won’t be counted toward limits on occupancy when restaurants reopen Monday under coronavirus guidelines, the state’s top business regulator said. Also, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears on Friday advised restaurant owners to use as much outdoor space […]

Restaurants: Updates

Restaurants: Updates

The following restaurants are open offering take out/curbside service and some are offering dining on site beginning next week: Alphy’s Catfish House is offering carry out and curbside pickup for breakfast and lunch. Call 850-515-1201. Bella Luna is open is offering pickup orders and is now open for inside and patio dining at 25% capacity. […]

Commissioners to discuss emergency order, further beach opening

Commissioners to discuss emergency order, further beach opening

Following Gov. Ron DeSantis’s announcements regarding phase I of re-opening Florida, the Santa Rosa County Commission will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday at 9 a.m. During the meeting, the board will discuss the current local declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. The board previously voted to extend the state of emergency despite multiple citizen […]

Florida state parks set to reopen Monday

Florida state parks set to reopen Monday

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday state parks will reopen Monday. There will be access to trails and some day use areas, including some beach access with limited facilities. Visitors will be asked to practice proper social distancing and to limit group sizes to 10 or less. “I applaud the Re-Open Florida Task Force on […]

Escambia County long-term care COVID-19 cases spike

Escambia County long-term care COVID-19 cases spike

In two days, Escambia County added 93 new positive cases of COVID-19, adding 22% of the county’s total cases at the time. Of those, the majority, 73, were in long-term care facilities. The county’s total in long-term care had risen to 145 cases among residents and staff as of April 28 across 12 facilities. There […]

New COVID-19 testing locations open for Santa Rosa

New COVID-19 testing locations open for Santa Rosa

UPDATE, 4/30 at 4 p.m.: Drive up COVID-19 testing is coming to Navarre and Tiger Point next week county officials confirmed April 30.  Navarre High School will host testing on behalf of the county from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 7. Tiger Point Community Center will hold testing 9 a.m. to noon Friday, May […]

Drive-thru testing added in Santa Rosa County

Drive-thru testing added in Santa Rosa County

Santa Rosa County announced yesterday drive-thru COVID testing sites are being set up throughout the county with no pre-screening required. The following sites are scheduled with more coming soon: April 30: 9 a.m. – noon Bagdad Mill Site Park, 6953 Main Street in Bagdad May 1: 9 a.m. – Milton Community Center, 5629 Byrom Street […]

Dorsey’s virtual signing day sign of the times

Dorsey’s virtual signing day sign of the times

Harrison Dorsey’s signing day last Tuesday morning was unique. With teammates watching via Zoom, so many, in fact, that they filled three screens, the Navarre senior inked his name to a letter of intent to continue his swimming career at the University of Montevallo. Dorsey wasn’t sure how signing day would work in the midst […]

Hospitals host Gov. DeSantis’s press conferences this weekend

Hospitals host Gov. DeSantis’s press conferences this weekend

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held two press conferences this weekend. The first was held Saturday at Cleveland Clinic in Westin, Fla. and his second conference was held at Orlando Health in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday. DeSantis mentioned new walk-up sites in Florida that have processed 4,000 tests. The closest walk-up site to our area is […]

Hungry to run: Seven marathons in seven days

Hungry to run: Seven marathons in seven days

Oh, there were days when Caleb Carmichael wanted to stop running. Soreness overwhelmed his feet. His knees tightened up. Aches and pains traveled through his body, essentially begging him to stop this madness of running seven marathons in a span of seven days. Maybe if this was just about the University of West Florida cross-country […]

More to know: CARES Act and taxes

More to know: CARES Act and taxes

With 889 pages and $2 trillion, the federal CARES Act comes with a lot of moving parts impacting every level of the economy from large businesses to students just getting their start. Unpacking what it means for all of us can be overwhelming, but local Edward Jones financial adviser, Monica Meyer did just that last […]

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