Florida considering end of daily COVID-19 reports
We’ve been keeping daily track of the COVID-19 numbers put out by the state. But the Governor’s Office now says with Florida in Phase 3 of the reopening, it’s considering scaling back the frequency of its reporting. Advocates for long-term care residents call the data vital when it comes to policy and decision making in the fight against COVID-19. More from Bay News 9 and the News Service of Florida.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Cleveland Clinic Florida branches out
Cleveland Clinic Florida opened its Florida Research & Innovation Center in a building once occupied by the failed state and local life-sciences investment, Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida. The new Florida center, leased from Port St. Lucie, will focus on the prevention of infectious diseases. It will be led by scientific director and virologist Michaela Gack, who joined Cleveland Clinic Florida in July from the University of Chicago. [Source: Florida Trend]
AMA: Florida Blue is fourth most dominant health insurer
Florida Blue dominates in 22 metropolitan statistical areas across Florida, according to an analysis by the American Medical Association, although Florida is not on the list of least-competitive markets for such things as insurance and preferred provider organization, or PPO, coverage. The company's strength in the state puts Jacksonville-based Florida Blue on a short list of the nation’s top dominant companies, ranking it No. 4.on a list of companies with the highest insured market shares in the most metropolitan statistical areas. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Pharmacies in Florida can now give flu shots to anyone 3 years and older
Typically pharmacies are only able to administer the flu shot to people 18 or older, but Florida’s surgeon general signed an emergency order allowing pharmacies to administer the flu vaccine to children ages 3 and up at most pharmacy locations. The order runs thru June 2021. [Source: WJXT]
Eight months of unhealthy eating habits. More time in front of computer screens. Anxieties. Canceled sports and activities. The coronavirus pandemic has been harmful to children’s health and pediatricians say the mix could lead to a spike in obesity that affects their ability to fight the virus. South Florida pediatricians say they expect to see more overweight children, citing increased screen time, lack of structure they were getting in schools and delays in pediatric appointments. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› State medical board says pelvic exam law is for women only [WJCT]
A new state law aimed at protecting patients from unwanted pelvic exams does not apply to people who are “biologically male,” according to a state medical board. The Florida Board of Medicine, which regulates physicians, issued an eight-page order designed to clarify the law, which prohibits health-care practitioners and medical students from performing pelvic examinations on patients without written consent from the patients or the patients’ guardians.
› Orlando drive-thru flu shots available; epidemiologist on why you need one [WUSF]
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County will be offering its yearly drive-thru flu shots starting Saturday at Freedom High School, 2500 W. Taft Vineland Road, Orlando. WMFE spoke with the agency’s epidemiology program manager, Alvina Chu, about how the clinics work and why it’s crucial to get vaccinated this year.
› Telescope Health CEO: ‘Telemedicine is here to stay’ [Jacksonville Daily Record]
The longer the pandemic continues, the more likely it is that telemedicine permanently will impact emergency room volumes and how hospitals operate, said Telescope Health CEO and co-founder Matthew Rill. For two months following the start of COVID-19 shutdowns, Rill said Telescope Health, a Jacksonville-based telemedicine provider, grew from seeing about 15 patients a day to 300 a day.
› Free mental health screenings taking place throughout Lee & Collier counties [Health News Florida]
To promote mental health and well-being in southwest Florida during the pandemic, Healthy Lee's Behavioral Health coalition launched the Healthy Minds initiative last month. Healthy Minds brings together 17 partner organizations to provide free mental health screenings to communities throughout Lee and Collier Counties.