August 4, 2020

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/10/2020

Mail ballots headed to homes across Florida for August primary

Ballots for Florida’s August 18 primary will soon reach the mailboxes of voters around the state. That’s right: It’s election time. In the past few months, Florida’s 67 elections supervisors have been working under the specter of the coronavirus threat to shore up poll workers, adjust procedures, find new polling places for some precincts, secure masks and hand sanitizer, and promote mail ballots as a safe alternative to in-person voting. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Minority, low-income Floridians hit hard financially by coronavirus, housing data show

Before the pandemic threw the economy into a tailspin and left millions unemployed and worried about the future of their housing, a slower, quieter crisis was already well underway when it comes to who owns homes in America. The gap between Black and white rates of homeownership — a key way that families acquire wealth — had widened by 2017 to be larger than it was in 1960, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida crosses 4,000 deaths and counts most deaths in a single day: 120

On Thursday, Florida crossed the 4,000-death threshold for the pandemic and logged the most deaths in a 24-hour period: 120. This also has been the state’s deadliest week so far. During the first five days of this week (Sunday through Thursday), the state reported 307 new deaths, which is a high for deaths reported during the same period throughout the pandemic. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Bloomberg Law.

See also:
» Hospitalizations may be spiking along with new COVID-19 case counts
» Nearly half of Florida’s ICUs are at least 90% full
» Florida’s coronavirus death rate is trending up again after rising hospitalizations

Disney confident in reopening this week

Walt Disney World will reopen in Orlando, Florida on Saturday amid a growing number of Covid-19 cases within the state. The pandemic has devastated Disney. The company has been forced to shutter its theme parks, push back its film openings and run ESPN without any live sports since mid-March. More from CNBC, the Miami Herald, and CNN.

Florida will create a master plan for electric vehicle charging

What if charging an electric vehicle was as quick and easy as filling up with a tank of gas? That’s the aim of a new state law, sponsored by Sen. Tom Lee (R-Thonotosassa). It requires the Florida Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to add more electric car charging stations along the state’s highway system. [Source: WJCT]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Petition calls on Florida officials to allow nursing home visits
A new online petition is demanding a way for family members to visit their loved ones in Florida’s long-term care facilities. The state isn’t allowing any visits during the Covid19 pandemic. Governor Ron Desantis on July 8th extended visiting restrictions for another 60 days.

› Sarasota launches online, mobile options for building permits, inspections
The city of Sarasota’s development services department is rolling out new phone, online and mobile services that will make it easier for customers to do business with the city. That could prove especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department’s building division now accepts credit card payments for permits via an online portal.

› As unemployment spikes, virtual career services help Tampa Bay veterans
Career service groups have been offering virtual job hunts for Tampa Bay veterans in recent months as they seek to remedy the historic highs in veteran unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic. At the start of the year, the national veteran unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. By June, that figure reached 8.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

› University of Miami study finds that waterfront music fests may be stressing out local sea life
Waterfront music festivals may unnerve underwater ecosystems and potentially disrupt the love life of a froggy-looking fish that is a dietary staple for dolphins, according to a new University of Miami study. The study, published last month in the journal Environmental Pollution, was conducted by researchers who were concerned about how sound from the high energy, low frequency Ultra Music Festival would affect the university’s experimental fish hatchery.

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