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Monday's Daily Pulse

‘A pandemic of the unvaccinated’: Florida is accounting for 1-in-5 of nation’s COVID-19 cases

Florida saw a significant jump in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the past week, a surge noted by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of a “pandemic of unvaccinated.” The Florida Department of Health reported on Friday that there were 45,604 new COVID-19-related cases and 59 deaths in the week that ended July 15. The same weekly report also showed that the COVID-19 positivity rate has surged from 7.8% to 11.5%. The numbers reflect a period following the long July 4 holiday weekend. More from the News Service of Florida, the Tampa Bay Times. the Orlando Sentinel and nd the Miami Herald.

Florida has gained more than 900,000 new jobs since last June

Employers in Florida hired nearly 70,000 workers in June, doubling May’s job growth despite a marginal increase in the state’s unemployment rate, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). “The change in Florida’s unemployment rate – up 0.1 percentage point from May – reflects the significant increase in the labor force of 83,000 over the month, showing that active job seekers continue to rejoin the workforce with many job opportunities available,” the DEO said in a Friday news release. [Source: The Center Square]

Column: Florida leads the nation in occupational licensing reform

Last year, the legislature passed the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act, which is now law. Among other things, the law recognizes a range of out-of-state licenses and reduces or eliminates licensing requirements for more than 30 professions—hairdressers, interior designers, and boxing timekeepers among them. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Court grants hold on Florida cruise ruling in win for CDC

In a win for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal appeals court has granted a hold on a U.S. district judge’s ruling that backed Florida in a fight about the cruise-ship industry. The CDC put in a request on July 7 for the court to issue a stay after U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday refused to put on hold his June 18 ruling that the CDC overstepped its legal authority in placing cruising restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Source: Click Orlando]

Georgia is rivaling Florida as a retirement destination

About five years ago, Realtor Dorrie Love noticed that retirees were making up more and more of the out-of-town home buyers in her Atlanta suburb. “There’s been an influx from California and the Northeast,” says Love, an agent at Harry Norman Realtors in Peachtree City and president of the Georgia Realtors. She sees a number of reasons that Georgia is rivaling Florida as a retirement destination: “Four seasons, the mountains, the beach, an airport to go see children or grandchildren.” [Source: McClatchy-Tribune ]


› Overdose deaths surged in Tampa Bay as pandemic compounded loneliness, stress
More than 7,400 Floridians died of drug overdoses in the yearlong period ending in November, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A year earlier, the state had reported more than 5,400 deaths — a roughly 37 percent increase from 2019 to 2020.

› River City Brewing Company to close after 27 years
The River City Brewing Company will close its doors Sunday after 27 years of business. It comes after a redevelopment agreement to improve an area near Friendship Fountain with an apartment complex and restaurant got a thumbs-up from the entire Jacksonville City Council last month.

› Demonstrations may herald new political force as Sarasota Cuban community gains visibility
Unlike Miami and Tampa, the Sarasota region is not known for having a large Cuban community, and most Cubans who do live in the area have not been highly visible. That low-key presence changed last week when hundreds of people with Cuban roots descended on downtown Sarasota to demonstrate in solidarity with anti-government protesters on the island.

› Jacksonville’s jobless rate rises to 5% in June
Jacksonville’s jobless rate jumped higher in June, a month when unemployment typically rises with new high school and college graduates entering the labor force. The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose from 4.2% in May to 5% in June, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported July 16.

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› Sarasota nonprofit names new president, CEO 
The Step Up Suncoast board of directors recently selected Amy Yount Tittle as the agency’s next president and CEO. The appointment was unanimously approved during Step Up Suncoast’s annual board meeting June 24. Yount Tittle will replace retiring president and CEO Barbara Patten Sept. 1.

› Disney regional hub at Lake Nona could bring 2,000+ jobs with $120K average salaries
A new Disney regional hub in Orlando’s Lake Nona community will be home to more than 2,000 professional jobs relocating from California, the company revealed Thursday afternoon. The average wage for the positions is $120,000 annually, according to Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership president and CEO.

› DeSantis visits Texas border, where Florida resources are spent on enforcement
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says southwest land border encounters for fiscal year 2021, which includes the end of Trump’s term and Biden’s tenure so far, are up compared with the past few years. While in Texas, DeSantis said Florida law enforcement officers have assisted with the apprehension of more than 2,800 undocumented immigrants.

› Florida insurance regulator tells insurers to provide data on Champlain South policies
Florida’s insurance regulator has put out a request for all insurers to tell the state about any policies associated with the Surfside condominium building that collapsed last month. In a notice to companies on Saturday that’s typically reserved for hurricanes and disasters, the Office of Insurance Regulation requested insurers report virtually every type of policy in effect at the Champlain Towers South, from automobile coverage to life insurance to flood policies. Insurers were given a deadline of Wednesday this week.