Senate Approves Stimulus Package

Just before midnight, the Senate approved a $900 billion dollar stimulus package along with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill. That includes stimulus checks, aid for businesses, those facing foreclosure or eviction, education, child care and more. The bill now goes to the President’s desk for his signature.

The first shipments of the Moderana coronavirus vaccine were delivered to Bay area hospitals Monday. 50 hospitals in Florida will get this second vaccine with a total of 367,000 doses. It does not have to be stored at the extremely low temps that the Pfizer vaccine does so it can go to more hospitals. For the full list of Florida and Tampa Bay hospitals that will have the vaccine click here. First responders, health care workers and educators will be among the first to receive the vaccinations.

COVID-19 cases rose by 11,015 Monday which means the state total is now 1,212,581. Florida resident deaths are now at 20,680. If you have questions or need more information from the Florida Department of Health, the COVID-19 Call Center is available 24/7 be calling 1-866-779-6121. You can also reach them by email at Email responses will be sent during call center hours. BayCare is offering rapid result tests at nine Urgent Care Centers for asymptomatic individuals. This is one you’ll have to pay for up front at $150 and can make an online appointment for on the BayCare web site. The newest locations for free, drive through shots are at five Hillsborough County school locations which will require a reservation. You can take care of that by calling 813-307-8085 Monday through Friday from 8-5 pm. Other Free COVID-19 tests are available in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. For more please check in with us daily here.

Even with the COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise and the CDC is warning against traveling, more and more people are planning to fly for Christmas. The Transportation Security Administration estimates 1.07 million people passed through the security checkpoints last weekend alone.

If you missed what many call the “Christmas Star” overnight plenty of astronomers managed to get some impressive views of Jupiter and Saturn coming as close as they have in the last 400 years. You may have views over the next couple of nights as the two planets move away from each other. It could be another 50 years before something close to this happens again.

The Bucs took what looked like a sure win away from Atlanta Sunday. coming back after they were down 17 points for a 31-27 win. There are just two games left in the regular season and the final game is at home once again be against Atlanta at home on January 3rd. First though they head to Detroit for a game against the Lions Saturday the 26th where a win would guarantee a playoff spot.

When the Florida legislature reconvenes in March, one proposal will be to ban smoking on Florida beaches. Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, filed the proposal (SB 334) that would also ban smoking in state parks, but would allow it in beaches and parks owned by counties and cities.

The Toronto Raptors are calling Tropicana Field home for now and are inviting a limited number of fans to watch their games. Ticket are being sold for up to 3,200 fans for the preseason and 3,800 for the regular season. That will start today against New Orleans. To help maintain social distancing seats will be sold in pods of two or four and start at $35. No seats will be sold within 30 feet of the court and you must wear a mask.

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