Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Nearly half of new COVID variant cases in the U.S. are in Florida. Experts warn of surge
The mutated and likely more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus detected in Martin County last week is growing in Florida, with 22 cases now in the state, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s about 42% of the 52 cases known to the CDC in the United States, and experts say the new strain is likely to continue to spread as COVID cases rise across the state and in South Florida. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida’s 1st launch of 2021: SpaceX delivers Turkish satellite into orbit
In the first East Coast launch of 2021, SpaceX on Thursday night sent up a satellite for the Turkish company Turksat. The Turksat 5A satellite, the first of two that will be deployed from Florida this year, launched at 9:15 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 40 launch pad. It’s the first rocket launch of what’s expected to be another busy year for space exploration. In 2020, Space Florida Vice President Dale Ketcham said there were 31 from the cape, a record, and in 2021 more than 40 are planned. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Ron DeSantis asking for a double dose of vaccines next week
Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida will receive 250,000 doses in its next COVID-19 vaccine shipment, split between Pfizer and Moderna’s formulas, but he’s asked the federal government to double that. DeSantis projected that, of the 4.4 million Floridians aged 65 and older, at least 3 million will want the vaccine. “If you look at the clip that it’s going now, we probably can use a lot more than that now that we have a lot of hospitals really ramping up and some other things going on,” he said in Bradenton on Thursday. [Source: Florida Politics]
‘Second draw’ PPP loan rules arrive; banks await new applications
Another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans getting closer. But small businesses seeking relief will have to wait a little longer. Late Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Small Business Administration unveiled new guidance for $284.5 billion worth of federally backed relief loans to small businesses harmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the new transactions will be “second draw” loans from businesses that already got a loan last spring or summer. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Statement from the Florida Council of 100 leadership condemning anti-democracy riot at the United States Capitol
Americans have had a proud history of peaceful Presidential transitions—one of the great hallmarks of our democracy. Unfortunately, what we saw from the protests yesterday diminished and tarnished that historic and noble record. We have been greatly blessed that our forefathers entrusted to us a system of government that is embraced in a Constitution so carefully crafted that we avoid the disruptive and violent history of political change seen elsewhere in the world. At the core of our nation’s values are the principles of free speech, peaceful assembly, and the right to have a voice in the running of our government through a lawfully elected representative democracy. Read the full statement here.
Ozone Sanitation system: What is it and how it works
Ozone is a colorless natural gas composed of trivalent oxygen (O3) found in nature. It is a 100% Natural powerful bactericide that dissolves bacteria, mold, viruses and odors safely and organically. This has been proven by many evaluations and tests. A very important factor is that these proven results are achieved without the use of harsh chemicals that often create allergies, rashes, asthma attacks and other harmful lingering issues. The OZONE Sanitation system provides for maximum safe usage to protect students, teachers, staff, and visitors and provides a short turnaround time to resume normal activities. [Sponsored report]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› High-end Fort Lauderdale butcher A Cut Above now open in the old Quarterdeck space
Flanked by thick slabs of ultra-premium A5 wagyu beef and icy piles of straight-from-Maine Moondancer oysters, Mark Small’s larger-than-life approach is on full display at A Cut Above Butcher & Provisions in Fort Lauderdale. With the recent opening of the upscale food purveyor near downtown, Small is a new Falstaffian figure on the South Florida food stage, distinguished by an easy wit, the arms and broad shoulders of a man who spent 40 years in the construction industry and the girth of a globe-trotting gourmand.
› This ‘no Wi-Fi’ coffee shop is a hit in the Gables. Will it succeed in Miami Shores?
Tinta y Café nurtures a different kind of cafecito crowd. With fluffy French whipped eggs, Latin-inspired sandwiches on baguettes instead of Cuban bread and a lighter-brew coffee, the restaurant developed a following over the last 15 years, from their original Calle Ocho spot to their newer home at the northern edge of Coral Gables. Now they hope to expand their audience with a new location.
› New St. Petersburg hotel, apartment tower breaks ground downtown
Ground has broken on a 36-story, $117 million hotel and apartment tower on a long-vacant patch of downtown St. Petersburg. Early construction on Ascent St. Petersburg began in December at the northwest corner of Second Street N and First Avenue N, next to the Duke Energy headquarters and across from Jannus Live, on a plot that’s sat empty since 2005.
› With major purchase, Naples family plans one of the largest wineries in the Midwest
The Hoffmann Family of Cos., one of the largest commercial real estate property owners in Naples, recently acquired a series of properties and wineries in Augusta, Mo., west of St. Louis. The purchases, according to a statement, include the Balducci Winery and Vineyards on some 90 acres; the Knoernschild Vineyards and buildings on 53 acres; and the Old Augusta Wine Co. building on Walnut Street in Augusta, in addition to the old country feed store and grocery.
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