Health

  Breaking down COVID cases on the Suncoast

Manatee and Sarasota counties now have a combined nine zip codes with a high number of cases since March.

Florida man arrested for burning a building during civil disturbance in Tampa

FDOH reports over 12,600 new confirmed coronavirus cases statewide

DeSantis offers no end to bar shutdown

DOH Sarasota set to conduct COVID-19 drive-thru testing in Venice this week

  Brothers pushing ‘Promise to Humanity’ global movement

Local Hospitals Helping Minority and Low-Income Communities get Masks and Resources to prevent COVID-19 Infection

Continued Coverage

Sarasota Memorial Hospital offering experimental COVID-19 treatment

  Over 350 Manatee County School employees impacted by COVID-19 since March

Lucky Pelican cook dies from COVID-19, restaurant closes

SMH, Manatee Memorial report number of COVID-19 patients

SunCoast Blood Centers searching for convalescent plasma donors

Florida DOH reports 48 new COVID-19 deaths

  Families Urging State to Re-Open Visitation in Nursing Homes

Florida is now implementing even stricter guidelines to make sure that the vulnerable population stays safe - that includes continuing a visitation ban. Meanwhile, the Florida AARP is pushing for the state to loosen those restrictions saying that the impact of isolation is taking a huge toll.

  Federal agencies, hazmat crews respond to Florida church selling COVID-19 ‘miracle solution’

Multiple agencies were called to the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing in Bradenton in connection with search warrants.

All DOH COVID-19 testing appointments filled in North Port for Wednesday and Thursday

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH Sarasota) announced on Wednesday morning that all testing appointments have been filled for Wednesday and Thursday.

Lakewood Ranch Medical updates visitation rules for inpatient nursing units

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center announced Wednesday that visitors will not be allowed in Lakewood Ranch Medical Center’s Inpatient Nursing Units, effective Wednesday, July 8 until further notice.

Bank of America to temporarily close several locations in the Suncoast

  Emergency order issued to reopen all Florida public schools in August, Suncoast School Districts begin preparing

Coronavirus Cases Continue to Rise in Children on the Suncoast

  WNBA announces seven players test positive for COVID-19, teams arrived at IMG Academy on Monday

City of Venice to start distributing cloth face coverings on Wednesday

Florida’s largest county closes restaurants as virus spikes

  Disney World passholders upset with company after being charged payments for several months during COVID-19 pandemic

Some Disney World annual passholders are pretty perturbed after they were incorrectly charged hundreds of dollars this month.

Man in famous 9/11 photo dies from COVID-19 in Florida

A man photographed fleeing smoke and debris as the south tower of the World Trade Center crumbled just a block away on Sept. 11, 2001, has died from coronavirus.

Disney suspends college internship program amid pandemic

Walt Disney World says it’s suspending the Disney College Program indefinitely amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

  A breakdown of COVID-19 cases on the Suncoast

As we head into the holiday weekend health officials are urging people to remain cautious by washing their hands and wearing a mask when social distancing isn't possible.

Florida Bars with Food Licenses Allowed to Re-Open As Holiday Weekend Begins

Just a week ago, bars were told they could not sell alcohol on their properties, but now, the Florida Department of Businesses changed that amendment saying those that serve alcohol and food can re-open just in time for July 4th weekend.

Fourth SCFD employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Sarasota County Fire Department has confirmed that another employee has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the confirmed case count in the department to four.

Amendment allows some Florida bars to re-open

The Florida Department of Business amended its order to let places who are licensed to sell both alcohol and food re-open so long as social distancing guidelines are still followed.

Sarasota, Manatee County beach parking lots filling up quickly

Officials in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties are reporting that beach parking lots are quickly filling up as beach-goers kick off their July 4th holidays.

UTC, Robert Taylor testing sites to close for Fourth of July holiday

The COVID-19 testing sites at the UTC Mall and Robert Taylor will be closed Saturday, July 4 in observation of Independence Day.

Vice President Pence meets with DeSantis in Tampa to discuss coronavirus response

Vice President Mike Pence and Gov. Ron DeSanits held a press briefing Thursday in Tampa to discuss the recent spike in coronavirus cases and reaffirm their commitment to fighting the virus.

COVID-19 Restrictions Impacting July 4th Weekend on the Suncoast

The City of Sarasota, the City of Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach and Longboat Key are requiring masks to be worn inside and outside - with the hope that less people will roam around, shop or even dine in the area. Plus, Long Boat Key has closed its beach parking lots.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota updates visitation policy

While the hospital continues to have very few COVID-19 patients, the virus continues to spread in the community, resulting in a need for extra precautions.

Longboat Key passes mask ordinance

Following other cities in the Suncoast, the Town of Longboat Key Florida passed a mandatory mask ordinance.

FDOH reports 169,106 COVID-19 cases as V.P. Pence visits Tampa

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) reported Thursday that the state has 169,106 confirmed coronavirus cases involving 166,303 Florida residents.

Lakewood Ranch Medical updates visitation rules

Starting Thursday, July 2, 2020, inpatient visitation at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center will allow only one visitor per patient, per day, age 18 or older to visit patients on the Nursing Inpatient Units from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Mask requirement begins across the City of Sarasota

A mask requirement is underway in the City of Sarasota.

Pence scheduled to meet with DeSantis on Thursday in Tampa

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Tampa on Thursday.

Blake Medical Center reinforcing visitation rules due to rise in statewide COVID-19 cases

Blake Medical Center announced on Wednesday that they are once again tightening up on visitation rules.

FDOH reports state has over 158,900 confirmed COVID-19 cases

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) reported on Wednesday morning that the state has 158,997 confirmed coronavirus cases.

  DeSantis signs executive order to extend halt on mortgage foreclosures and evictions

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed an executive order to halt evictions and foreclosures until August 1.

All DOH COVID-19 testing appointments filled in North Port for Wednesday and Thursday

Sarasota County Government announced on Wednesday morning that all Department of Health (DOH) testing appointments have been filled for Wednesday and Thursday.

  Suncoast native, Ian Desmond, opting to sit out of 2020 MLB season

A Suncoast native that is currently signed to the Colorado Rockies is opting out of playing in this year’s MLB season.

DOH Sarasota announces new COVID-19 testing opportunity scheduled for Thursday in North Port

The Department of Health in Sarasota (DOH Sarasota) has added a new COVID-19 testing opportunity on Thursday.

Several temporary closures announced on Longboat Key due to rise in statewide COVID-19 cases

The Town of Longboat Key has announced multiple temporary closures that will be taking place starting on Tuesday to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Florida.

Last day for SCSD parents to submit district reopening survey

To help decide how best to reopen Sarasota County School District, parents and guardians of students are asked to complete a survey.

  City of Sarasota Commissioners pass mask ordinance 4-1, will distribute masks to first-time offenders

After hours of discussing and finessing the fine points of a mandatory mask ordinance, the City of Sarasota voted to put one in effect.

Two state-run COVID-19 testing sites on the Suncoast have reached max capacity and shut down for Monday

Two state-run COVID-19 testing sites on the Suncoast have reached maximum capacity and has shut down for the day.

SunCoast Blood Centers in need of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients

Suncoast Blood Centers are asking for donations of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.

MCSO closing Records and Civil Process lobby to public due to increase of statewide COVID-19 numbers

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) announced on Monday that starting on Tuesday the Records and Civil Process lobby will be temporarily closed until further notice.

Everything you need to know about sunscreen this summer

In the U.S. more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

Florida looks for way forward on bars

Florida’s ban on serving alcohol to people in bars will be reevaluated daily, the state’s top business regulator said in a series of tweets over the weekend that also offered apologies for the crackdown.

  City of Sarasota commissioners scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss possibility of mask requirement

On Monday, City of Sarasota are expected to meet and discuss a proposed mask requirement.

Suncoast Hospitals Change Visitation Policies Amid Spikes in Coronavirus Cases

Venice Regional Bayfront Health has also joined Sarasota Memorial in not allowing any visitors. While all other hospitals on the Suncoast are limiting it to one visitor per patient. However, all facilities say this will not impact elective surgeries. All procedures will continue being scheduled.

Florida COVID cases spike, Sarasota and Manatee report high numbers

The Florida Department of Health has reported a jump of nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours. The DOH is reporting 122,960 cases and 3,366 deaths. Over 1.7 million tests have been administered statewide.

Alcohol consumption suspended at Florida bars after COVID-19 cases spike

Effective immediately, alcohol consumption has been suspended at all bars throughout Florida.

Lincoln Park testing site in Manatee County reaches max. capacity for fourth day in a row

For the fourth day in a row, the Lincoln Park COVID-19 testing site has reached maximum capacity and has closed for the day.

City of Anna Maria issues mask ordinance

Following the example of the City of Holmes Beach, Anna Maria has issued a mask ordinance that could result in a fine for people who don’t comply.

Sarasota County Fire Department employee tests positive for COVID-19

A Sarasota County Fire Department employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

What precautions to take when eating at a restaurant during COVID-19

Although stores and restaurants have opened back up, doctors remind people the first wave of the virus never ended.

SMH announces it will reinstate visitation restrictions

Sarasota Memorial Hospital announced that starting Friday, June 26 at 6 p.m. it will once again activate a “No Visitors” policy, except in special circumstances.

USF re-opening plan approved by Board of Governors

The Florida Board of Governors unanimously approved the University of South Florida’s reopening plan for the fall 2020 semester, a significant step forward in the process of bringing students, faculty and staff back to campuses.

City of Holmes Beach will issues fines for failure to wear masks inside a business

The mayor of Holmes Beach tells ABC7 that beginning June 28, fines will be issued for individuals not wearing masks inside local businesses.

Lincoln Park testing site in Manatee County has closed

The Manatee County Government has announced that the Lincoln Park testing facility closed at 10 a.m. after they reached maximum capacity.

Three Sarasota police officers test post for COVID-19

Three police officers with the Sarasota Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19. According to officials with the department, these are the first three positive cases for the agency.

Latest prison deaths at South Florida facility

The two latest COVID-19 deaths in the state prison system involved inmates at the South Florida Reception Center, according to information released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Health. The state Department of Corrections in recent days said two inmates had died but did not identify the pr

City of Sarasota giving away masks to stop spread of COVID-19

Workers with the City of Sarasota will be giving away up to 50,000 protective face masks over the next week in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

  No mandate on face coverings approved in Manatee County, advisory put out supporting state guidelines

Commissioners agreed to put out a public health advisory to say Floridians should wear face coverings in situations where social distancing isn’t possible.

Doctors Say Blood Type May Be Linked to Severe COVID-19 Risk

Researchers found people with Type A blood are at a 45% higher risk of contracting the virus and getting really sick from it. While people with Type O blood have a lower risk. However, this new information does not take away from the fact that both of these patients can spread the virus to others.

Manatee County Commission urges residents to wear mask

After debate over whether to make face masks mandatory in public, the Manatee County Commission released a statement endorsing recommendations from the Florida Surgeon General that state all individuals in Florida SHOULD wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible.

Bar owner says his establishment a ‘scapegoat’

The owner of the Knight’s Pub in Orlando contended Wednesday that the bar is being used as a “scapegoat” after the state suspended its alcoholic beverage license for violating coronavirus reopening guidelines.

  Who should get tested for COVID-19

As testing along the Suncoast becomes more readily available, at what point should an individual get tested for COVID-19?

Three state-ran COVID-19 testing sites on the Suncoast close down for Wednesday after reaching max capacity

Three of the state-ran COVID-19 testing sites on the Suncoast have closed down for today after supplies exhausted.

Some Florida Congress members ask DeSantis to make masks mandatory

Some members of Florida’s Congress are urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue an immediate statewide order that would require all people wear masks in public.

Local food pantries continue seeing increase in demand but less supply

"If anyone has some money that they can help meet this urgent need to help feed hungry people and children in our communities. We need help, and we need it now."

Manatee County announces new $17.5 million Coronavirus assistance plan

CARES Act funding now available in Manatee County.

  County leaders pushing for more education as cases rise across the state

As more county and city leaders across the state are requiring community members to wear masks, others want to push more education.

Three state ran COVID-19 testing sites closed for Tuesday after supplies exhausted

Three state ran COVID-19 testing sites on the Suncoast have all closed for today after reaching their maximum capacities.

Health professionals urge people to wear face masks

Health professionals say wearing a face mask can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by at least 50%.