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Category: coronavirus

COUNTY LOOKS TO LIGHTEN COVID PROTOCOLS FOR SUMMER

A lot can happen in 411 days.  For example, during the April 21 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, emergency management director Shannon Weiner said that Monroe County has been in “Covid Operations” for 411 days. Weiner’s portion of the meeting was a public hearing to consider changes to the county’s mask ordinance. Unless rescinded or extended by the board, the ordinance would sunset on June 1, 2021, subject to quarterly review. The general consensus of the BOCC, with firm backing from health officer and administrator Bob Eadie of the Florida Department of Health in Monroe...

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SCHOOLS SUPER: SOCIAL DISTANCING ‘HAS BECOME A PROBLEM

At the April 27 Monroe County School District board meeting, Superintendent Theresa Axford announced that more than 100 Key West High School students have been quarantined in just the fourth week of the school district’s reopening to five days of in-person instruction. “The social distancing at 3 feet, which is what we’re able to do now with more students returned to school, has become a problem when there is a positive case and contact tracing goes on,” she told the assembled board members. “There are 126 students who are out at Key West High School right now, not because they are positive...

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OUR ECONOMY SURVIVED THE PANDEMIC. NOW WHAT?

It seems so small and so selfish to say in the midst of a much needed economic boom in the Middle Keys, but here it is. Business owners and employees are exhausted. Thank goodness so many local entrepreneurs weathered the economic storm caused by the pandemic. On the other hand, we’re really at a breaking point in terms of our ability to serve. I’ve been thinking about this column for a long time, talking to my friends, family and business partners in the community. It’s an important thing that needs to be said, although many don’t want their name attached to this column for good reason — it...

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Baptist Health opens vaccine appointments in Islamorada

Baptist Health South Florida is opening up Covid-19 vaccine appointments to individuals 18 and over during a clinic set for next week at Island Christian School in Islamorada.  Sign ups to receive a vaccine next week at ICS will open on Friday at 10 a.m. via BaptistHealth.net/Vaccine. Shots will be administered April 12-14 at the school, located at 83250 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.  Next week’s clinic in Islamorada comes following Baptist Health South Florida’s first mass vaccination clinic in Marathon last month.  Appointments will only be made available online. For more information and/or...

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Vaccines trickle into community health organizations

By Jim McCarthy, Sara Matthis and Mandy Miles Between mass vaccine clinics and pharmacies coming on line, a little more than 25,700 Covid-19 shots have entered the arms of Keys residents. Health care providers are beginning to obtain their initial vaccine shipments following a longer than anticipated wait. And while clinics like Good Health Clinic are pleased to receive the first package, dose totals aren’t quite to the number requested. With offices in Tavernier and Marathon, Good Health Clinic received its first round of Covid-19 doses on April 5. The clinic originally put in a request for...

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ALL MONROE COUNTY STUDENTS MAY GO TO SUMMER SCHOOL

Monroe County officials are mulling a special summer school session that would be open to all students as a way to regroup after a historic and challenging pandemic year. The details should be finalized by the end of April. “We’d like to give students an opportunity to re-engage in school and enjoy themselves — a range of offerings to tickle their imaginations and interests. Our kids have had a difficult time during COVID,” school superintendent Theresa Axford told Keys Weekly. “Typically, summer school is geared toward recovery and remediation,” said Amber Archer Acevedo, coordinator of community...

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Compassionate, quality care a focus for new hospitals CEO

From testing and patient care to vaccines, two Florida Keys hospitals within the Baptist Health South Florida system remain at the forefront of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Add in construction of a new Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon and the entrance of a new chief executive officer, and plenty of activity is unfolding at Mariners and Fishermen’s hospitals.  The departure of the hospitals’ longtime leader, Rick Freeburg, left Baptist searching for a successor to lead the two Keys hospitals. Following a search, in came Drew Grossman as the next chief executive officer on Feb....

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VACCINE ELIGIBILITY OPENS UP TO 18-PLUS on APRIL 5

COVID-19 vaccinations will be open to all adults ages 18 and older beginning April 5.  Gov. Ron DeSantis released a nearly three-minute video on March 25 announcing vaccine eligibility expansion to those 40 and older beginning March 29. A week later, the eligibility opens up to adults 18 and older.  “We’ve made progress and I look forward to continuing to work hard to make sure everyone in Florida who wants a shot can get a shot. No mandate, but access for all,” he said.  Within his remarks, DeSantis said Florida’s “Seniors First” vaccine strategy resulted in 3.2 million people...

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