The over half a million American lives lost to the COVID-19 virus were honored at the White House last night with a candle light ceremony. President Joe Biden ordered all flags be flow at half-staff through sunset Friday. Almost 7,000 of those lives lost were from the Tampa Bay area. Monday’s COVID-19 numbers in Florida rose by 4,151 with now over 30,000 Florida resident deaths at 30,065. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state is approaching 1.9 million at 1,872,923. Tampa will be one of four federal vaccine sites in the state. The four sites will open March 3rd in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville.
The funeral for Pinellas County Sheriff Deputy Michael Magli is today at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz. Deputy Magli died when an alleged drunk driver struck him last week. It is open to the public but seating is limited due to social distancing and face covering must be worn. The doors will open at 10 am for the 11 am service to be followed by 21-gun salute outside the church along with a riderless horse, a last call, and a fly-over. The burial will be private and for family over, but the procession will follow a route for the public to say farewell along State Road 54 between the Suncoast Parkway and Community Drive. You’re asked to be in place by 12:30 p.m. Robert Holzaepfel was arrested in the case and will now first degree felony murder charges.
An opening, not a closing to announce as the Tampa Theater will once again open their doors. The March 11th screening of The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins will welcome fans back to the historic theater with social distancing in force. You’ll have to buy tickets online, your temperature will be taken before you can enter, and masks are required. With social distancing requirements, instead of 1,200 people in the seats only 200 will be allowed. Concessions will be ordered right from your seats.
Out of the four bars in Tampa facing the loss of their liquor license, or face suspension for not following the mask mandate, the Ritz Ybor and Club Prana had their hearings delayed until March. Purple Heart Bar Lounge and Grill, had their delayed until next week. MacDinton’s Irish Pub was also cited and will go before council March 8th. Council did decide not to suspend the license of Seventh & Grove.
Many vaccine locations have hit the pause button thanks to the severe winter storms. If you have a reservation for a vaccination please check What You Need To Know on the Dove website for more information on the vaccine in Florida. You can also access the COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121. The vaccine is for those 65 and older only for now. If your site was the University Mall location, that’s going to be moved to Raymond James Stadium but no date for that move has been set. The University Mall location will stay open but only for testing.
No beads on Bayshore Blvd this year as EventFest and Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla announced Tuesday the annual event was canceled due to the pandemic. Gasparilla usually takes place in January and actually had been rescheduled for April. The new dates in 2022 will start with the Gasparilla children’s parade Saturday, January 22, 2022. The big invasion will follow the next weekend on Saturday, January 29, 2022. If you’ve already reserved a ticket you have the option of taking a refund, or rolling it over for a credit on your account for 2022, along with a 15% bonus.
Tampa City Council has also canceled the annual St Patrick’s Day “River O’ Green” Festival. The Hillsborough River will not be dyed green this year. Instead, council asks you to support local businesses that day and celebrate safely.