August 4, 2021

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/20/2021

Hospitals already feeling a capacity crunch as COVID patients start to arrive in new Florida surge

Hospitals, beset by a barrage of sick patients and staffing shortages, are trying to keep up with general demand — and now, they are seeing Florida’s COVID case count starting to surge, and more COVID patients arrive each day. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel] and the Miami Herald.

Florida adopts new rules for doctors who certify patients for smokable medical marijuana

New rules laying out stricter rules that physicians must follow when certifying patients to smoke medical marijuana took effect recently, but it’s not clear that doctors or patients are fully aware of them. Patients certified or recertified to smoke medical marijuana must sign a new standardized consent form as of July 13. That form for the first time includes information about the dangers of smoking near oxygen tanks and advises patients to check their marijuana supplies for mold contaminants.[Source: Orlando Sentinel]

State gives assurances on addressing red tide

Department of Environmental Protection Interim Secretary Shawn Hamilton plans to be in the Tampa Bay region Tuesday to address a red-tide outbreak that is being tied to massive sea-life deaths. Hamilton, appearing Monday at a ceremonial bill signing at the Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve in Poinciana, said he wants to give assurances that the state is coordinating with people working locally on the outbreak. [Source: News Service of Florida]

AAA: Florida gas prices weaken as crude prices tumble

The state’s average for gas prices has fallen back below $3 a gallon for the first time this month. The average price for gasoline is now $2.99. That’s down 2 cents from last week, yet still 4 cents more than a month ago. “Crude oil prices declined last week, which has enabled gasoline prices to weaken,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. [Source: CBS Miami]

DeSantis says he’ll appeal ruling keeping CDC cruise authority in place

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday vowed to seek — to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary — a reversal of a Saturday night court ruling that allows a federal health agency’s authority over the cruise industry to remain in place while the state pursues its lawsuit seeking to overturn that authority. DeSantis said the state would seek to reverse an order issued late Saturday night by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta that prevented the lifting of restrictions on the cruise industry imposed in spring 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Raymond James plots fall return to in-person work, with ‘more flexibility’
After 19 months working largely out of the office, employees at Raymond James Financial will start returning to their St. Petersburg headquarters in September. But the coronavirus pandemic has proven to the financial management firm, one of Tampa Bay’s largest companies, that it must adopt a “more flexible” approach to remote and hybrid work if it wants to continue recruiting top advisors, CEO Paul Reilly said.

› Bestbet plans St. Johns County poker, wagering facility
In a return to St. Johns County, bestbet plans to build a poker room and simulcast wagering facility near St. Augustine. St. Johns County issued a building permit July 15 for bestbet to construct a 40,673-square-foot facility at 800 Marketplace Drive in St. Johns County. It is off Florida 207 and Interstate 95 near the former St. Augustine Flea Market.

› Select Florida DOC institutions offering $1,000 hiring bonus
The Florida Department of Corrections is offering a $1,000 hiring bonus for several facilities in our area. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, they are largest state agency and is the third largest correction system in the nation. Among the institutions offering a hiring bonus in our area are the Jackson Correctional Institute, Liberty Correctional Institute, The Northwest Florida Reception Center and the Walton Correctional Institute.

› Reservations no longer needed to visit Busch Gardens or SeaWorld
Busch Gardens and SeaWorld have dropped their policy requiring visitors to secure a reservation before visiting the parks, a policy that was put in place to control crowd sizes after the parks reopened last summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That limit is still in place for Walt Disney World, but Universal Orlando and now the other major theme parks have dropped the requirement.

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