May 26, 2020

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/9/2020

Gig workers have changed Florida’s workforce. The coronavirus response is starting to reflect that.

Statewide, 1.16 million people are self-employed, out of a labor force of about 10 million, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey results for 2018, the most current available year. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area has almost 158,000 self-employed people, or about 10 percent of the area’s labor force. The coronavirus led officials to extend unemployment benefits to workers like independent contractors and gig workers. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Influential coronavirus model shows fewer deaths and hospitalizations in Florida — if we stay isolated

An influential model used by the White House to chart the coronavirus pandemic is showing that fewer Floridians will die of the new virus than initially thought — assuming everyone strictly observes social distancing measures through the end of May. Florida can expect 149 deaths a day at the epidemic’s peak on April 21, reaching a death count of 4,357 by early June, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Why Dorian won’t be retired as a hurricane name this year

Hurricane Dorian razed the northern Bahamas, splintering homes and feeding them to the sea before turning its fury on North Carolina, where it made landfall Sept. 6 as a Category 1 cyclone. But Dorian’s name won’t be retired this year as is the tradition with deeply devastating storms because the group that oversees the master catalog of monikers has been sidelined by the coronavirus. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Liens filed against SeaWorld over unpaid construction bills

More than three weeks after SeaWorld’s parks shut down and lost money coming through the turnstiles, a Winter Park construction firm says the company owes nearly $225,000 in unpaid bills. Wilsten Group sought three construction liens against SeaWorld for a trio of completed construction projects, according to Orange County Comptroller’s records filed Tuesday. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida elections officials seek direction from DeSantis on how to proceed

Without knowing whether coronavirus will still be causing widespread disruption, elections supervisors across the state are attempting to make plans for elections that could include vast new numbers of mail ballots, poll workers suddenly in risky positions and landlords who may no longer welcome polling places on their property. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Tampa resident launches ReBuilt, a chef-prepared meal plan service for Florida
The resolve and drive of local business owners never fails to amaze. The latest to attract attention (and appetite) is ReBuilt Meals, a chef-prepared meal and delivery service that launched in the Tampa Bay region just a few short years ago. President and CEO Brandon Assaf and his team have developed a meal creation and disbursement plan that can satisfy the needs of many different lifestyles including: keto, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and much more.

› RV rental company promotes use of vehicles for self-quarantining
The ability to change directions quickly has been crucial for businesses reacting to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Mid Florida RV Rentals is one example — shifting to promote another use for its RVs: self-quarantining. Renting an RV, it says, is a way for people to isolate and protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

› Orlando airport workers file OSHA complaint claiming restaurant operator ‘put us at risk’
Workers at many of Orlando International Airport’s restaurants say management kept them in the dark about what to do or how to protect themselves as coronavirus cases grew around them, infecting nearly a dozen TSA workers.

› Company holds virtual ‘silent disco’ to help boost morale during coronavirus pandemic
With social distancing now the new normal across the country, one local office took creative steps to unwind at the end of the day and bring them together virtually. Working remotely, employees at the Delray Beach-based tecnhology company HappyOrNot took part in a virtual “silent disco” recently to help boost morale.

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