Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida knew a COVID-19 pandemic was likely. State leaders didn’t warn the public.
Three months ago, Floridians were celebrating Valentine’s Day unaware that the novel coronavirus posed any real threat to their lives, or that it was likely already spreading through the state. No one had told them to be worried. While the public was kept in the dark, top Florida health officials were scrambling to come up with a plan for a crisis they knew was upon them, according to internal Florida Department of Health data. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Judy Genshaft is a Florida Icon
The former USF president tells us: "When I arrived in 2000, USF was at a point where it was moving in a horizontal- line trajectory, and if someone didn’t pick it up and move it, the line was going to fall. So, I immediately put the emphasis on research and teaching and service to the community." [Source: Florida Trend]
Latest Nielsen, USF study shows economic impact of coronavirus on Floridians
Floridians have been hard-hit economically by coronavirus, according to a new report by Nielsen and the University of South Florida. The pair teamed up in April to conduct a number of studies focusing on coronavirus and its impact on the Sunshine State. In this newly released study, Floridians showed how hard they've been hit economically during the pandemic. The study says 60 percent of respondents are concerned about meeting their financial obligations in the next three months. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]
As COVID-19 cases and deaths rise, Florida prisons boss says ‘major facilities’ dodged spread
As cases of COVID-19, the highly contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, started to spread in Florida the first week of March, the state’s Department of Corrections announced its commitment to handling any potential cases in keeping with federal guidelines. The Department of Corrections has said in statements that it has ramped up health services, reviews of medical equipment, routine temperature checks and medical isolation measures for inmates with symptoms. [Source: Miami Herald]
Putting Florida's bartenders back to work with virtual cocktail events -- delivery included
South Florida’s hospitality industry may be sputtering back to life even if bars — as of now — are still closed. One new non-profit aims to put bartenders back to work ... virtually. Companies and groups can set up live-streaming, hands-on, happy hours through CompanyToast, which delivers alcohol, mixers, ingredients and bar tools to the door of the participants. The bartender then hosts a virtual cocktail-making event. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Court backs FPL in Broward nursing home case
A state appeals court Wednesday rejected a lawsuit that alleged negligence by Florida Power & Light when residents of a Broward County nursing home were stuck in sweltering conditions after Hurricane Irma in 2017. A three-judge panel upheld a circuit court decision that dismissed the allegations made against FPL by Christine Cooper, who was a resident of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.
› Derby Lane spectators ‘comfortable’ with safety precautions in return to the track
Let history show that at 12:31 p.m. Wednesday, live pro sports — with fans — returned to Tampa Bay. And that Oshkosh Wendy broke from the box first and won the opening race — paying a solid $10.60 — as Derby Lane resumed somewhat normal operations.
› Some Miami commercial landlords to continue rent relief, despite county re-openings
Within days of the pandemic shutdown, tenants and landlords were negotiating rent abatements. Though government have eased restrictions, retailers and restaurateurs expect the recovery to be a long, slow road. And that means rent relief discussions are still on the table.
› Florida company goes from manufacturing arcade games to making hand sanitizer stations
For 50 years, Bob’s Space Racers in Holly Hill has been manufacturing large arcade games for amusement parks and fairs--including a favorite of many, whac-a-mole, which was invented by the company’s founder. Now, the Volusia County business is making hand sanitizer stations to help out during the coronavirus pandemic.
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