Miami Herald: Undocumented immigrants in Florida getting shut out of access to COVID-19 vaccine

Miami Herald: Undocumented immigrants in Florida getting shut out of access to COVID-19 vaccine. “In the scorching heat, Doris Mejia slowly makes her way to the front of the vaccine line. For the fifth time in a month, a worker asks if she has a Florida ID. She shakes her head no. Without it, no COVID-19 vaccine site has been willing to inoculate Mejia—an undocumented Salvadoran migrant living in Homestead — against the deadly virus. For the single mother of four who makes ends meet as a farmworker and housekeeper, not being able to get the vaccine comes at a high price.”

AP: Nearly half of new US virus infections are in just 5 states

Associated Press: Nearly half of new US virus infections are in just 5 states. “New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases, in the latest available seven-day period, according to state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Total U.S. infections during the same week numbered more than 452,000.”

AP: A rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout backfired in some US states

AP: A rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout backfired in some US states. “A surprising new analysis found that states such as South Carolina and Florida that raced ahead of others to offer the vaccine to ever-larger groups of people have vaccinated smaller shares of their population than those that moved more slowly and methodically, such as Hawaii and Connecticut.”

WSVN: Miami Beach to enforce 8 p.m. curfew, block most eastbound traffic on causeways due to spring break crowds

WSVN: Miami Beach to enforce 8 p.m. curfew, block most eastbound traffic on causeways due to spring break crowds. “The City of Miami Beach will enforce an 8 p.m. curfew in South Beach’s entertainment district and block most eastbound traffic to the city starting at 10 p.m., officials said. Interim City Manager Raul Aguila, who announced the emergency measures alongside Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber at a press conference, Saturday afternoon, said they will go into effect Saturday night due to overwhelming spring break crowds.”

AP: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to COVID outbreak

AP: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to COVID outbreak. “Former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, club has been partially closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak. That’s according to several people familiar with the situation, including a club member who received a phone call informing them about the closure Friday. A receptionist at the Mar-a-Lago club confirmed the news, saying it was closed until further notice, but declined to comment further.”

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando Sentinel sues Florida Department of Health to force release of COVID variant data

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando Sentinel sues Florida Department of Health to force release of COVID variant data. “The Orlando Sentinel filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Florida Department of Health for allegedly violating the state’s public records law by refusing to release detailed information on the location of mutated strains of COVID-19, even as such cases rapidly multiplied.”

Bradenton Herald: Federal complaint accuses DeSantis, Lakewood Ranch vaccination site of discrimination

Bradenton Herald: Federal complaint accuses DeSantis, Lakewood Ranch vaccination site of discrimination. “Last month, a three-day event was held by the state at the Premier Sports Complex that only gave appointments to residents who live in two of Manatee County’s wealthiest ZIP codes, in Lakewood Ranch. The chosen ZIP codes had been impacted less than other parts of the county, according to the state’s own COVID-19 data. According to the complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the site inappropriately gave a wealthy developer who contributes to the governor’s campaign limited access to the vaccine. Matthew Issman, a retired law enforcement officer, filed the complaint on Feb. 18.”

New York Times: ‘I’d Much Rather Be in Florida’

New York Times: ‘I’d Much Rather Be in Florida’. “To call what is happening in Florida an actual boom is a stretch. Though the state was fully reopened by late September, its tourism-dependent economy remains hobbled. A $2.7 billion budget deficit will need an injection of federal stimulus money. Orange County, where Orlando is, saw the lowest tourist development tax collections for any January since 2002. Yet in a country just coming out of the morose grip of coronavirus lockdowns, Florida feels unmistakably hot. (And not just because of global warming.)”

Miami Herald: Florida inmates haven’t gotten COVID-19 vaccines. DeSantis won’t provide timeline.

Miami Herald: Florida inmates haven’t gotten COVID-19 vaccines. DeSantis won’t provide timeline.. “Three months into Florida’s vaccination efforts, Gov. Ron DeSantis has yet to make vaccines available to state prisons, even as corrections officials have requested doses and identified thousands of elderly inmates who meet the state’s eligibility requirements.”

Miami Herald: Hospital and county contradict DeSantis’ claim about role in Ocean Reef vaccine

Miami Herald: Hospital and county contradict DeSantis’ claim about role in Ocean Reef vaccine. “After Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed ‘the state was not involved’ in arranging for more than 1,200 Keys residents in the wealthy Ocean Reef community to get accelerated access to the COVID-19 vaccine in January, both Baptist Health South Florida — which supplied the doses — and Monroe County have contradicted his claims, saying the distribution was authorized by the state.”

Miami Herald: As governor cherry-picked data, the pandemic took a toll on Florida Sunshine laws

Miami Herald: As governor cherry-picked data, the pandemic took a toll on Florida Sunshine laws. “For months, Thomas Hladish, a research scientist at the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, asked the Florida Department of Health to let him use information from thousands of contact tracers the state had hired to interview Floridians who tested positive for COVID-19…. But Hladish, who was on FDOH’s payroll for part of last year building statistical forecasting models about the disease, was stonewalled. He was then told not to even acknowledge the state had a set of data that showed when and where people tested negative for COVID-19 in Florida.”