August 4, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/27/2020

Florida coronavirus cases show little sign of slowing as state surpasses New York

No daily records were broken in Sunday’s report on the damage the novel coronavirus has wreaked thus far in the state. Still, the numbers of infections and deaths tied to the virus showed little sign of slowing the day after Florida surpassed New York as the state with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases. Only California has more. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to discuss how to reopen bars

The secretary of Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Halsey Beshears, said he will be setting up meetings with breweries and bars throughout Florida to discuss how to reopen them. Last month, bars across Florida were no longer allowed to sell alcohol for on-site consumption as COVID-19 case numbers continued to shatter records in the state. On July 1, the department revised its ban and allowed all vendors to sell alcohol for off-site consumption. More from WFTV and the Orlando Sentinel.

Citizens Insurance reverses decision to drop past-due policies on Aug. 15

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has reversed its decision to resume canceling homeowner insurance policies of customers who haven’t been able to pay their bills because of COVID-19-related hardships. The company recently announced in a letter to agents and customers that it would resume canceling and nonrenewing policies with past-due accounts on Aug. 15. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida mistake on child COVID-19 rate raises question: Can Florida’s numbers be trusted?

An error by the Florida Department of Health produced a COVID-19 positivity rate for children of nearly one-third, a stunning figure that played into the debate over whether schools should reopen. A week after issuing that statistic, the department took it back without explanation. The next weekly report on children and COVID-19 showed the rate had plunged to 13.4%. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Outback Steakhouse in Florida leads Bloomin’ Brands despite coronavirus spikes

Bloomin’ Brands, the company that owns Outback Steakhouse, says despite the pandemic it has stores turning profits — mainly, ones in the South. During its second-quarter phone call with investors Friday, the company said Texas and Florida were posting the most positive sales trends. Company leaders said of the 129 top-performing locations, more than half were in the South. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Passengers, flights increasing at Orlando Melbourne International Airport
Despite spiking COVID-19 cases in Florida and the nation, foot traffic and flights are on the rise at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. At the height of the pandemic's impact on airlines, flights from the airport fell to just two each day. Now three or five leave every day, airport spokesman Rob Himler said.

› County earns top recycling spot in Florida
Lee County has earned the top recycling spot in Florida for 2019. This is the fifth time the county has led the state in recycling since Florida began tracking in 2000, according to a press release. The amount of material Lee County residents recycled in 2019 would be enough to fill 138 football fields with material 70 feet high — as high as the Sanibel Causeway Bridge, the release says.

› Miami Beach looks to private parking enforcement as COVID-19 leads to more budget cuts
Facing a $13.8 million shortfall in its parking fund, the city of Miami Beach is proposing to eliminate 40 full-time positions in the department and may privatize up to 50% of its parking enforcement functions.

› Tampa tech company Benefytt sets $625 million sale to private firm
Tampa health insurance tech company Benefytt Technologies has agreed to sell to a Chicago private equity firm in a deal worth around $625 million. Madison Dearborn Partners offered the NASDAQ-traded company $31 per share in cash, the companies announced last week.

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