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September 25, 2020
Florida Lifts Restaurant Restrictions, Preempts Local Business Closures

Your table is ready - bars and restaurants in Florida no longer have any capacity restrictions. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Friday removing remaining restrictions on businesses that were in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The order, which took effect immediately, also prohibits local governments from issuing their own local orders to the contrary, or collecting any fines from pandemic-related rules. "In the state of Florida everybody has a right to work,” DeSantis said at a news conference in St. Petersburg. “We’re not closing anything going forward.” Some Florida Democrats criticized the Republican governor, suggesting some areas may not be ready to reopen with the rest of the state. Associated Press / Tampa Bay Times / Florida Politics / WTSP / Governor's Executive Order

DeSantis: NFL Teams Should Allow More Fans to Show Tampa Can Host Super Bowl in February

Tampa's Raymond James Stadium and other NFL venues in Florida should move toward allowing more fans in the stands to show the state can safely host a Super Bowl in Tampa early next year, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday. While the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed limited numbers of fans at home games, the Tampa Bay Bucs played their home opener Sunday without spectators and have said they plan to do the same Oct. 4 against San Diego. At a news conference in St. Petersburg, DeSantis said he understands teams' effort to move slowly, and that teams have the right to determine capacity.  “They want to go slower than anyone," DeSantis said of the teams. "So it’s not like they want to have full capacity. But I think you can do much more than what’s been done. Outdoor transmission (of the coronavirus) has just not been a major factor.... I’d like to have everyone have fans in some capacity and then let’s build going forward.” Raymond James, home of the Buccaneers, is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in February. "We expect to do a full Super Bowl," DeSantis said. "We want to show we’re going to be able to do that.” Florida Politics / Tampa Bay Times / WTSP


September 24, 2020
Florida New Jobless Claims Continue to Decline

New unemployment claims in Florida dropped slightly again last week as the state's economy continued to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown that started in the spring. Florida reported 35,289 first-time claims for jobless benefits in the week ending Sept. 19, down by just over 1,400 from the week before, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday. While steadily declining in recent weeks, Florida still hasn't gotten anywhere near where it was before the pandemic started - in early March the state saw fewer than 5,300 first-time jobless claims. Florida's unemployment rate is now 7.4 percent. Nationally, new jobless claims ticked up last week by 4,000 to 870, the government said. Department of Labor

Positivity Rate Drops Back Below 5 Percent

The COVID-19 testing positivity rate in Florida dropped back under the preferred 5 percent level on Thursday’s official pandemic report, one indication that the virus prevalence remains under control. The rate - which is the percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 that are not retests of earlier positive cases - had gone up above 5 percent for two days after 10 days below 5 percent. But on Thursday the rate dropped to 4.45 percent. The state has been under the statewide positivity rate goal of 10 percent for more than a month. Sun Sentinel

Collier County to Resume Jury Trials in October

Some felony and misdemeanor jury trials will be able to start in Collier County early next month. After a seven month suspension of jury trials because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Collier County Clerk of Court is starting to mail out juror summons notices for two upcoming trials in October. Everyone entering the courthouse, including jurors, will be subject to COVID safety measures including a mask requirement, a short health screen and keeping six feet distance from others. Florida Weekly - Naples 


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