Thursday August 5, 2021

The Florida Hospital Association says Florida reported 16,935 newly detected cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, August 3, and 140 additional deaths. FHA says 12,041 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. To date, over 39,000 people have died in Florida from the virus since the start of the pandemic. Hospitals across the state have been forced to cancel non-emergency surgical procedures, and some facilities have limited visitation, as the numbers of people hospitalized with COVID-19 have increased. Florida stopped reporting daily COVID-19 statistics in June at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Florida Department of Health now issues updates once a week, on Fridays. The FHA and CDC continue to publish data on a daily basis.

Despite a statewide ban, two Florida school districts have decided to require masks when children return to school, with the state leading the country in hospitalizations. School boards in Duval and Alachua County, made the decision based on rising hospitalizations and new cases of the coronavirus. The Duval County School Board voted late Tuesday to require students to wear masks unless parents submit paperwork to opt out. The Alachua County board said it had voted to require masks for the first two weeks of school, adding that the decision will be reevaluated in two weeks. Students in both districts go back to school Tuesday. The Florida Education Association reportedly said in a statement, “We hope other school districts will also heed the advice of the trusted medical professionals.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends that masks be worn indoors at schools nationwide — by teachers, staff, students and visitors — regardless of their vaccination status.

As Florida families begin preparing for another school year, our Governor and his cabinet are reminding Floridians, that they can save money on school supplies and clothing during the 2021 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday now through Monday August 9. For more information and to view the lists of qualifying items, visit the Department of Revenue’s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday website at

The School District of Palm Beach County is hosting a job fair today to hire bus drivers. The job fair will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Central Transportation, near West Palm Beach. Trainees who become school bus drivers will receive a starting pay of $15.08 per hour with full benefits, scheduled time off including holidays, and Florida Retirement.       

Hendry County will be conducting mosquito spraying over the Pioneer Planation and LaDeca Communities, weather permitting, through Monday, August 9th. These operations will continue throughout the remainder of the year as mosquito levels warrant. The insecticide to treat for adult mosquitoes is approved for application by the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Florida.  This operation will be conducted by Clarke.