Florida fails to attract bidders for Canada drug importation program
Florida’s plan to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada — designed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and endorsed by President Donald Trump — has tasted its first bitter pill. No private firms bid on Florida’s $30 million contract to set up and operate a drug importation program. Bids were due at the end of September. The setback is likely to delay by at least several months Florida’s effort to become the first state to import drugs. [Source: Kaiser Health News]
Florida COVID-19 vaccine plan: Long-term care residents, front-line health workers get it first
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities, front-line health workers and first responders are the first groups who will receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available, according to Florida’s draft vaccination plan made public late Friday. The states had to file their plans to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Oct. 16, based on a playbook created by the agency. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Health Department seeks budget increase to rebuild infrastructure
As Florida battles the coronavirus pandemic, the effort has exposed an inconvenient truth that the state’s public health infrastructure has been whittled down by the Legislature, especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Despite what is expected to be a tough budget year, the Florida Department of Health is asking for money to begin rebuilding that foundation. Health department officials in their 2021-22 budget request made it clear to legislators: Florida has been stretched thin due to an ongoing series of outbreaks that have included Zika and hepatitis A. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Florida's coronavirus positivity rate climbs back above 5%
Statewide coronavirus infections now stand at 782,013, following the addition of 3,377 positive tests since Sunday. State health officials report 526 people tested positive in the greater Tampa Bay region. The state received 61,509 tests Sunday and 5.94% of those tested positive for the first time. It’s the first time in four days the positivity rate has been above 5%. [Source: Health News Florida]
In anticipation of holiday reunions, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday ordered the state’s nursing homes and assisted living centers to permit children to visit indoors and to allow outdoor visits, regardless of a facility’s infection rate for COVID-19. At a Fort Myers news conference, the governor also said the state will no longer limit each resident to a maximum of five visitors but will leave it up to each long-term-care facility, its residents and their families. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Lakeland Ledger.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› UF Health physician part of national COVID vaccine panel [Gainesville Sun]
While the question of when a COVID-19 vaccine will become available is widely speculated about around the world, health experts are also grappling with another issue on the horizon: Who will get the vaccines, and when? In July, a UF Health physician joined a national CDC-sponsored committee in hopes of helping guide policymakers in answering those questions.
› Miami nurse sues doctor colleague, says he ‘deliberately’ infected her with COVID-19 [Miami Herald]
A Miami-Dade nurse practitioner and mother of a 2-year-old said she was deliberately exposed to COVID-19 by a Miami physician at their place of work. She has filed a lawsuit against him, the medical office and the hospital that owns the medical office.
› St. Petersburg couple built their own ‘nursing home’ next door [Tampa Bay Times]
When Jay and Becky Morgan grow older and require more care, they won’t need to tour nursing homes or move into a senior living complex. They’ll simply move into their guest house next door. The guest house is a miniature version of the couple’s 1,450-square-foot main home, built in 1926 and updated to look like a Craftsman, except it’s fully handicapped-accessible.
› JFK Medical Center workers raise more than $2,000 for father who lost 18-year-old son to coronavirus [WPTV]
An ICU team in Palm Beach County performed an extraordinary act of kindness for the family of a young man who lost his fight with COVID-19. Hospital workers at JFK Medical Center came together to raise enough money so the victim's father can take his son back to Central America for burial.