Coronavirus Live Updates: DeSantis Administration Fires COVID-19 Data Guru For ‘Insubordination’

May 19, 2020

This post will be updated today, Tuesday, May 19, with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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WLRN staff continues to add to community resource lists, including this article on where kids and families can get food while schools are closed, and this post about whether and where to get tested for the coronavirus.

The dedicated website for the Florida Department of Health, including information about symptoms and numbers of cases, can be found here. The dedicated website from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

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QUICK UPDATES

DeSantis Administration Fires COVID-19 Data Guru For ‘Insubordination’

Updated Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The outspoken architect of Florida’s nationally praised COVID-19 dashboard was fired Tuesday after going public with her concerns about the Department of Health’s commitment to “accessibility and transparency.”

The Herald previously reported on a message Rebekah Jones sent last Friday to users of a state data portal announcing that she had been removed from overseeing the dashboard and hinting that she had been stripped of the responsibility for raising concerns about the state’s commitment to transparency.

She told the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday that she had been offered the choice to resign or be fired next Monday. The Times reported that she had been asked to remove fields from publicly available COVID-19 data indicating when patients had begun experiencing symptoms after media requests about the data.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.

— Ben Wieder and Mary Ellen Klas/ Miami Herald

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Approach 47,000

Updated Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

Florida approached 47,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 502 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday morning. Florida has a total of 46,944 confirmed cases.

Tuesday's update also included the announcement of 55 new deaths, increasing the statewide number to 2,052. 

-WLRN News