With Tropical Storm Isaias on a path for Florida, COVID-19 outdoor test sites will be shut down starting Friday and will remain closed through Monday. This will affect sire in testing sites in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties. There will still be free COVID-19 testing sites at local county health departments. You can find those on the Florida Department of Health web sites. Track the progress of Tropical Storm Isaias on the Dove Hurricane Guide along with our partner meteorologists from 10 Tampa Bay.
Wednesday’s COVID-19 numbers set a single-day record for Florida deaths. 216 residents deaths were reported along with 9,446 newly confirmed cases bringing the state total to 451,423. The Florida Dashboard is available with updated numbers each morning at 11 am. 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 email@example.com. 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.
There was a sad end to the search for a missing St Petersburg mother and daughter Wednesday. Angela and Alexis Jolley disappeared nearly a week ago but were seen on surveillance video. Yesterday Alexis contacted her family from Nebraska to let them know her mother Angela had died after having trouble breathing at an Omaha hospital. There will be an autopsy today.
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.