September 24, 2020

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/7/2020

South Florida a hotspot for COVID-19 and for vaccine trials

First came the coronavirus in record numbers in South Florida. Now come the vaccine makers looking for a fertile testing ground for whether their inoculations work. The big names in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine have descended, setting up test sites in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. They are recruiting thousands of volunteers who have not yet been infected for six or more large-scale vaccine studies. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and WLRN.

See also:
» Coronavirus: Florida death toll will double over next two months, projection says
» One of Florida’s biggest disparities: How coronavirus spread in Pinellas’ Black community

NOAA issues pessimistic hurricane forecast as Atlantic enters peak of season

The federal government issued a pessimistic new forecast for hurricane season Thursday, increasing its prediction for the number of storms we can expect as we head into the season’s peak. The forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for 19 to 25 named storms, which means tropical storms and hurricanes. The preseason forecast had called for 13 to 19. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Foreign tourist spending in U.S. might not fully recover until 2024, expert warns

International tourist spending in the United States might not return to pre-coronavirus levels until 2024, the former head of Florida’s tourism-marketing agency told members of the Economic Club of Florida this week. And for a state heavily reliant on tourism, the update from Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, didn’t paint a sunny picture. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Gov. DeSantis rescinds travel restrictions for those coming from NY, NJ and Connecticut

For more than four months, travelers coming to Florida from the Tri-State Area – New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – have had to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering the state. Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order rescinding the previous orders on those travel restrictions. The executive order issued Aug. 5 includes two sections. The first updates and changes previous orders related to employee screening at restaurants during the pandemic. More from WTSP and the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida Democrats wanted to add 1 million voters in 2020. They didn’t come close

Florida Democrats have a problem: there were supposed to be more of them by now. Following narrow losses in 2018 races for Florida governor and U.S. Senate, Democrats emerged from the midterms with a new resolve to register more voters in the nation’s largest swing state as a path to victory in 2020. But those initiatives fell well short of their goals. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Tampa Bay filmmakers use Zoom to make a coronavirus-safe movie
Zoom has become a part of everyday life. The video conferencing app is used for virtual meetings, family gatherings, happy hours, birthday parties and even weddings. Now, Tampa Bay area filmmakers have employed the app to produce a suspense movie in a coronavirus-safe way.

› Universal Orlando trying to lure Florida guests with a deal for unlimited visits
After shutting down for nearly three months, Universal Orlando is eager to get customers back, screaming and crying from adrenaline, the company says on its website. And this new discount package might help. “We miss you. Like real bad,” the theme park and resort’s website says.

› St. Augustine distillery wants to ship bottles straight to customers
Imagine being able to pull up a website or get on the phone and order your favorite craft bourbon or other spirit and have it delivered to your door. That’s what the St. Augustine Distillery and other craft distillers in Florida want to make happen – and fast – as they try to make it through to the other end of the pandemic.

› Heat’s Udonis Haslem now a fashion icon, launches apparel line
Udonis Haslem as fashion icon? Further expanding his South Florida business ventures, the Miami Heat captain has partnered with men's lifestyle brand Fly Supply to launch a "Heart & Soul" lifestyle brand. According to a release, the line is "inspired by the diversity and rich cultural heritage of the City of Miami." Haslem, 40, who for years has operated several South Florida food outlets, now joins former teammate Dwyane Wade in the fashion industry.

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