September 25, 2021

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/28/2021

CDC reverses course on indoor masks in Florida, other parts of U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging, including Florida. Citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. [Source: AP]

Florida hospitals not posting procedure prices as required by new federal rule

If you’ve ever been blindsided by a big hospital bill, you may have wondered if you could have gotten a better deal somewhere else. A new federal rule requires hospitals to post the price of all their procedures so you can comparison shop. There’s just one problem: a lot of Florida hospitals just aren’t doing it. The same procedure can cost a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars. It all depends on the rate the hospital privately negotiates with the payer. [Source: WFLA]

Florida to receive $10.6 million to help curb HIV crisis

Florida will receive $10.61 million in funding to expand HIV infection prevention and treatment efforts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The money will help a handful of counties including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Broward, Duval, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach. It’s the second round of funding from the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, which targets 50 locals areas that make up more than half of new HIV diagnoses. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Why Florida businesses should rethink their cybersecurity strategy

Consumers these days tend to pay more attention to their experience than ever, which puts pressure on customer experience specialists to offer better and better experiences. In the last 12 months, around 38% of consumers have faced cybercrime and online fraud at least once, with 24% twice, 15% three times. In 2020, as per the FBI’s Internet Crime Center, Florida is ranked second in the US for internet crimes with losses of $300 million. [Source: South Florida Reporter]

Is the Delta variant affecting our gas prices?

Fears about the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant dropped the price of fuel last week, but demand for gasoline nevertheless remains strong, experts say. In other words, people are still traveling amid rising coronavirus cases in Florida and nationwide. “Concerns about the Delta variant significantly impacted the crude oil market last week, causing oil prices to drop 8% on Monday,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association. “However, crude rebounded by the end of the week, on the belief that the spread would not significantly impact the recovery in global fuel demand.” [Source: WPLG]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Grab your tickle stick: Florida lobster mini-season begins Wednesday night
Grab your tickle stick. Florida’s two-day lobster mini-season officially gets underway Wednesday night. The recreational two-day season starts at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 28, and ends at midnight the following day. The regular season begins Aug. 6 every year and runs through March 31.

› Tax ‘holiday' teed up as students return to classrooms
With most students expected to be in classrooms next month, after many learned online for at least part of the 2020-2021 school year, retailers anticipate a surge in shopping during Florida’s upcoming back-to-school sales tax “holiday.” The return of students who remained at home last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to mean a need for new clothes, footwear, backpacks and even pens and paper when the 10-day tax holiday begins Saturday.

› Florida tax collector to workers: Get vaccinated or find a new job
As COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations surge across much of Florida, the Orange County tax collector has told his employees to get vaccinated by the end of August or find a new job. Tax Collector Scott Randolph said Monday that he'd been considering the new policy for weeks for his workforce of 316.

› ‘Avalanche’: Miami renters brace for mass evictions as moratorium ends
As the clock ticks down on the end of the national eviction moratorium, housing advocates are gearing up for evictions throughout Miami-Dade, especially low-income renters without the means to pay the back rent they owe. The moratorium, which went into effect on Sept. 4 and has been extended several times since but expires on Saturday, was intended to protect renters earning $99,000 or less per year from being evicted due to loss of income or other COVID-related hardships.

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