The Florida Roundup

Fridays at 12 PM

Listen to a panel of journalists and newsmakers discuss every week with hosts Melissa Ross and Tom Hudson the issues that define the Sunshine State. 

This show is co-produced with WJCT in Jacksonville. 

Miami Herald

Students at Florida’s 12 public universities could be returning to campus this fall, according to a new plan approved by the Florida Board of Governors. The universities will use the blueprint to develop individual reopening plans following shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

One out of every three applications for unemployment in Florida has been deemed ineligible to get relief. Are the people applying for the support to blame, or is the trouble with the state’s unemployment system?

Katie Lepri / WLRN

On Monday, all of Florida will be in phase one of the state’s reopening plan. As the Sunshine State inches back from pandemic shutdowns, a vital part of that plan is isolating people who have the coronavirus and keeping it from spreading.

Contact tracing is integral to that process.

Miami Herald

After facing weeks of criticism, Florida’s leaders feel vindicated in their response to coronavirus. Even though death totals are rising in the state, it appears Florida dodged the worst of the pandemic by some metrics.


Florida’s state parks will reopen on Monday as part of a broader move to reopen the state. Governor DeSantis made the announcement today in Jacksonville. Restaurants and retails stores will also reopen at 25 percent capacity if local governments allow.

The governor is making an exception to those reopening rules in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, where there is the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.

MATIAS J. OCNER / Miami Herald

Deaths at long-term care facilities account for more than a quarter of the more than 1,000 people in Florida who have died from COVID-19. After weeks of increasing pressure, the governor released the names of the facilities with reported cases of COVID-19.


But that list contained incorrect and, some have said, incomplete information. The number of current cases, the status of those infections, and the number of fatalities at specific homes remain unknown. 

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Governor Ron DeSantis and his newly-formed task force are working on reopening the state during the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. DeSantis said some municipalities should feel free to start opening parks and beaches, with physical distancing guidelines. It comes as his administration faces increased scrutiny for its response to the coronavirus.


Governor Ron DeSantis recently arranged for a million doses of hydroxychloroquine to come to Florida as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. President Trump has repeatedly recommended the medication to treat coronavirus, despite warnings from his own health officials that there’s no scientific data to support its use.

MATIAS J. OCNER / Miami Herald

After mounting pressure, this week Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state of Florida to try to slow the spread of COVID 19. DeSantis resisted issuing the order for weeks and said he’s taking his cues from the White House.


If you’re congested, sneezing, and have watery eyes or a sudden fever, you probably shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus. Understandably, anyone with these symptoms would be concerned. If you’re you're obsessing about the pandemic and feeling anxious, experts say it’s important to remember this is spring allergy season. Colds and the flu are common, and items in your home could trigger your allergies.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

At least nineteen long-term care facilities in Florida have either a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. The disease has already proven deadly at one senior care facility in Broward County. Four residents have tested positive for the virus at an assisted living facility in Jacksonville.


Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew says she has sent experts to the affected facilities. But citing federal privacy laws, the state has been reluctant to release specific details about which facilities have had confirmed or suspected cases. 


Miami Herald file

Florida voters overwhelmingly chose Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s primary election. Access to quality health care plans and paying for health insurance were top of mind for voters as Florida remains under a state of emergency and the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow.


Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

The state of Florida and several counties are in states of emergency as more Floridians test positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus.  Mary Mayhew, Florida’s secretary for the Agency for Health Care Administrations, which oversees nursing home and other assisted care facilities, said on Friday there was no community spread of the COVID-19 virus in Florida.  



The arrest of a six-year-old girl with special needs in Jacksonville earlier this month is renewing calls to change Florida's Baker Act. 

Dake Kang / AP

There have been no cases of the coronavirus reported in Florida so far, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

State health officials say they can’t release information about how many people have been tested for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.