May 8, 2021

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/20/2021

How restaurants in Florida have dealt with COVID-19 amidst few regulations

Florida has had some of the fewest COVID-19 restrictions in the entire country of the United States. While this affording Floridians a lot of freedom during this time, it leads to unnecessary risk and some conundrums when it comes to businesses such as bars and restaurants. It has made it difficult to manage restaurant guest expectations during COVID-19. Restaurants have been forced to follow their own rules and regulations when it comes to virus protocol. This has led to varying results. [Source: South Florida Caribbean News]

Controversial Florida medical marijuana bill ‘effectively dead’

A controversial measure being contemplated by Florida lawmakers to cap the potency of medical marijuana will apparently not become law this year. For weeks, House Bill 1455 seemed to have some momentum in the Republican-led Florida Legislature. In March, Republican lawmakers in two House committees voted to advance the bill, which, among other things, would have capped the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the marijuana offered to patients. (THC is the main psychoactive component of marijuana). [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

All across Florida, women are getting vaccinated for COVID-19 more than men

Continuing what appears to be a national trend, Florida women are choosing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at higher rates than Florida men — and medical professionals aren't surprised. Statewide as of Wednesday, women made up about 57% of fully vaccinated people, according to the Florida Department of Health. Men added up to about 43%. In fact, in 66 of Florida's 67 counties, women are outpacing men when it comes to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine; the exception is Glades County in south central Florida. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

Opinion: What has happened to the Florida property insurance market?

How did we move — in just five years — from a vibrant market where financially solid companies competed for business to an unhealthy environment where policyholders who have never filed a claim are being dropped or see their premiums jump by 30, 40, 70 percent in a year? Recently, we got an answer. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reviewed 750 insurance companies from around the country. It found that Florida accounted for only 8 percent of all claims filed nationwide in 2019, but nearly 76 percent of all lawsuits. [Source: Naples Daily News]

In-person graduations are back for most Florida colleges. There are restrictions, of course

Florida’s college and university graduation season looks different in 2021 than it did in 2020 when in-person commencement ceremonies were canceled. For many 2021 graduating students — and some 2020 grads who will be invited back at some schools — they may get to celebrate in person, and with guests. The 2021 graduation season began Saturday, April 17, at Florida State University in Tallahassee. In South Florida, on Saturday, April 24, Florida International University honors its students. The season runs through May. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida company creates COVID-19-killing ultra-violet light
Energy Harness CEO/inventor/engineer Michael Fischer and senior vice president Peter Lehrer were approached with a problem from a client about a year ago. They began brainstorming ways to solve it. With COVID-19 bringing the office working world to a standstill last March, and with nationwide lockdowns and masses of office workers retreating to working virtually from home, Fischer and Lehrer were among them.

› Florida gas prices dip slightly, but not much
Florida gas prices are slightly lower than a week ago. The state average price for gasoline is $2.83 per gallon. That’s one cent less than this time last week. “Gas prices have held relatively steady through the first half of April,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “However, some upward pressure appears to be moving back into the market, which could affect prices at the pump."

› More cryptocurrency offerings in South Florida real estate market
The real estate market is so competitive in South Florida right now that buyers from the Northeast are making cash offers. Now, many people are turning to creative ways to buy homes, including using cryptocurrencies. Bonnie Heatzig, a Realtor, said there is something new on the real estate landscape. It can be seen on the South Florida MLS, a place to search listings. Sellers can now indicate whether or not they will accept cryptocurrency in an offer.

› Busch Gardens to bring back indoor theater shows in May
Busch Gardens has announced plans to bring back indoor theater shows that include an ice skating production and a new cirque-style acrobatic show. Beginning Friday, May 28, the Tampa theme park’s award-winning ice-skating production “Turn It Up!” returns. Also coming is a new acrobatic show, “Cirque Electric.”

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Domino Park, symbol of Little Havana, reopens after COVID closure
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