Isaias Stengthens To Hurricane; Some State Testing Sites To Stay Open

Hurricane Isaias heading toward the Bahamas and parts of southeast Florida. The latest update had sustained winds of 80 mph, making it a category one. For the latest updates please check the Dove Hurricane Guide. Isaias is the season’s second hurricane.

Some state testing sites that were scheduled to be closed today through Tuesday will stay open. That’s due to the path of Hurricane Isaias. Those sites that will stay open include Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota.

The latest COVID-19 numbers in Florida show another 9,956 added on Thursday bringing the state total of confirmed cases to 461,379. The Florida Dashboard is updated daily at 11 am, including the weekend. The Florida Department of Health also has the COVID-19 Call Center open 24/7 at 1-866-779-6121. You can also reach them by email at covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

The statewide moratorium on housing eviction which was going to expire Saturday has been extended again. The new date is September 1st. The story in the Tampa Bay Times also notes some new policy items such as “all missed rent and mortgage payments are due when the tenant or borrower is no longer adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”

The Pinellas Suncoast Regional Transit Authority (PSTA) approved the SunRunner bus sytem plan that would take passengers from St Petersburg to Pinellas County beaches. The total cost for the project will be funded with a $21.8 million federal grant received Tuesday. Combine that with Florida Department of Transportation’s New Starts Program and Design Grant and contributions from the city of St. Petersburg and PTSA, and the entire SunRunner project’s cost of $43.93 million will be covered. 

If you get a packet of seeds in the mail you didn’t order- don’t open them. The seeds apparently come from China and officials have no idea what they are or what they’re for. It could be anything from a scam to agricultural bio-terrorism. 160 packets have been received in Florida and more nationwide. If you do get one contact the FDACS Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 or DPIhelpline@FDACS.gov.

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