Tuesday January 25, 2022

Florida COVID-19 Report

Florida reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 282,520 new cases. That’s down 30.9% from the previous week’s tally. Florida ranked 37th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States decreased 14.9% from the week before.  Across Florida, cases fell in 46 counties, with the best declines in Miami-Dade County; in Broward County; and in Orange County. 605 deaths were reported in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 470 people were reported dead. Florida does not directly publish county-level death data.

Free COVID-19 Tests and N95 Masks

So most of us have heard by now that every home in the United States is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 rapid antigen tests. COVID-19 self-tests are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others from COVID-19.  Well as of Monday, courtesy of the federal government, you’ll apparently be able to get your hands on an N95 mask for free as well. It was announced last week that 400 million masks were being shipped to pharmacies and community health centers nationwide. Americans can get up to three N95s free of charge.  The expectation is that most pharmacies that are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 vaccines will participate in the mask distribution. In Florida, this would mean:

  • CVS Health, Walgreens, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Costco amongst others.

Check your local pharmacy for more information.

Glades County Detention Center Abuse Allegations

FloridaPhoenix.com reports, according to complaint filed Monday by civil-rights organizations, the Glades County jail and detention center is illegally destroying video footage that could prove the migrants there are being abused. The complaint is a letter to federal agencies that threaten legal action, according to the organizations. The letter says the complainant has evidence that Glades is deleting surveillance video every 90 days despite an ICE requirement to keep the video for 3 years. The ACLU and other organizations reportedly allege, that detainees are subjected to inhumane treatment which could be corroborated by surveillance video. CREW Senior Counsel Nikhel Sus said in a press statement, “If Glades continues to break the law, ICE must terminate its contract with the center.”

A Bill Proposes that Florida Become an Open Carry State

Florida could be the latest state to do away with concealed carry gun permits and allow people to openly carry firearms. Lake County Representative Anthony Sabatini has filed a bill that would allow those who can legally possess guns to do so without a permit. The bill would also allow gun owners to open carry, which means they would be visible and allowed in most public places. More than 30 states currently have some form of open carry. Baker said the visibility of a firearm is a crime deterrent and improves public safety. As of today, this bill has not senate companion, and is not scheduled to be heard in committee.