Local News

Thursday Morning Headlines: Mark Jacobs

COVID CASES SPIKING

The number of COVID cases in Florida is at a six-month high.  The Department of Health reported over 16-thousand cases on Tuesday.  That’s the most since January, and it also represents 20-percent of all cases reported nationally on Tuesday.  The DOH also reported 92 deaths Tuesday, which is also over 20-percent of all deaths nationwide.

COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS INCREASE BY NEARLY 20 ON WEDNESDAY

The number of positive COVID-19 cases requiring treatment at area hospitals continues to rise very quickly.  According to the latest reporting, there were 131 people needing hospital treatment on Wednesday.  That number was 113 the day before.  It was as low as 58 just over one week ago.  Local officials resumed reporting of hospitalization numbers to keep a closer eye on the potential for a future run on the hospitals if things get bad. 

SANTA ROSA SCHOOLS MASK GUIDELINES

The Santa Rosa County School District has released new COVID-19 guidelines for students for the upcoming school year, including new rules that allow asymptomatic students exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school without quarantining. Under the new guidelines, both vaccinated and unvaccinated students who come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, but do not develop symptoms of the disease, will be allowed to remain in school without quarantining under certain stipulations. The Escambia County School District is still working to finalize its plan. Superintendent Tim Smith tells the PNJ the district is waiting for feedback from the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County before releasing its plans, especially given a recent rise in cases.

ALABAMA COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS SOAR

COVID hospitalizations in Alabama are soaring.  As of yesterday, nearly 11-hundred patients were in the hospital. That’s up from around 950 on Monday.  At the start of the month there were under 200-patients being treated for COVID in Alabama hospitals.  That has now increased by more than 500-percent.

MASKS AT DISNEY

Those visiting Disney World will have to bring a mask.  Disney announced yesterday that masks will be mandatory indoors for those two and up starting tomorrow.  In outdoor areas, masks will be optional.   

DANGEROUS HEAT

This could be a dangerously hot day across North Florida.  The National Weather Service has a Heat Advisory in effect today for the Panhandle and Big Bend.  The NWS expects heat index values of at least 108 degrees, and the heat and humidity could lead to heat illness.  The advisory will be in effect from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and residents are advised to stay hydrated, keep cool and check on relatives and neighbors.

ANOTHER DOLLAR GENERAL

Plans are being made for yet another Dollar General store in Escambia County.  The latest is proposed for Highway 29 between Ten Mile Road and Roberts Road.  Teramore Development LLC of Georgia is asking the Escambia County Development Review Committee for approval for the nearly 11-thousand square foot store on about acres of land just north of Kingline Equipment. Construction is already underway for another Dollar General at the corner of Kingsfield Road and Highway 297-A.

SANTA ROSA IMPACT FEES

The implementation of school impact fees in Santa Rosa County hit another snag this week. The PNJ reports the First District Court of Appeals upheld Santa Rosa County Circuit Judge Darlene Dickey’s July 2020 ruling that Santa Rosa County must temporarily stop collecting impact fees on behalf of the school board.  That doesn’t mean that the school impact fees are illegal or are never going to happen in Santa Rosa County. Dickey is still expected to rule on whether they can be officially implemented, which will close the case.

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