Health

Walk-up COVID-19 testing site added in Manatee County

The Florida Division of Emergency Management will open a new walk-up COVID-19 test center in Manatee County on Thursday, May 27.

  Despite Memorial Day weekend visitors, local business says it’ll take a while to recover

  Memorial Day Tributes go virtual in the midst of the pandemic

  DeSantis announces return of Summer camps

  Florida unemployment rate jumps to 12.9%

FDLE explains why Floridians didn’t get a notification on Friday’s Amber Alert

DeSantis announces return of youth sports, camps

Continued Coverage

CDC now says COVID-19 ‘does not spread easily’ on surfaces; Suncoast businesses still taking precaution

  DEO confirms ‘security incident,’ those affected have been notified

State approves Sarasota and Manatee Counties vacation rental re-opening

DOH-Sarsota: More drive-thru COVID-19 testing coming to Venice

Florida DOH announces 48,675 positive COVID-19 cases

  Siesta Key hotel owner says he expects business to start picking up in summer

  Venice and North Port High School planning to hold in-person graduation ceremonies

The school board is approving the plan this week.

  Charlotte County short-term vacation rentals to re-open

Charlotte County is taking more steps towards re-opening.

  Suncoast Pediatric Hospitals Prepare for Rare Illness in Kids Linked to COVID-19

Symptoms include high fever, rashes, red eyes and lips and stomach pain that can last for more than five days. However, unlike COVID-19, this illness does have a cure.

  City of Sarasota to partially close 2 streets this weekend to help local businesses

The City of Sarasota will facilitate two experimental partial street closures downtown this weekend in order to help increase foot traffic to local businesses.

  Some Floridians say they’re being overpaid by the Department of Economic Opportunity

  Lakewood Ranch Medical expands ER/procedural area visitation

As controversy looms over DOH employee firing, COVID-19 dashboard updates totals

Expect to wait on calls about jobless claims

City of Sarasota receives grant for PPE

DeSantis cites ‘insubordination’ in firing

  $2.6 billion distributed in unemployment benefits by the DEO, dozens of paper applicants unsure of where they stand

The Florida Governor said on Tuesday that the Department of Economic Opportunity has distributed $2.6 billion.

  OneBlood Providing Free COVID-19 Antibody Test Results with Blood Donation

The test is authorized by the FDA, and it will indicate If the donor's immune system has produced antibodies to the virus – regardless if they’ve ever produced symptoms.

Bird Key Park re-opening parking lot to public on Wednesday

The City of Sarasota has announced that the Bird Key Park parking lot will reopen to the public on Wednesday morning starting at 9:00 a.m.

  Manatee Memorial to expand visitation to ER, procedural areas

Manatee Memorial Hospital announced Tuesday that expanded visitation is now in place, loosening some COVID-19 restrictions.

The Florida Center creates free content to help with mental health

The Florida Center has released a series of free videos and content that will help individuals deal with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.

Florida has cases of child illness linked to COVID-19

Florida’s surgeon general has acknowledged that a syndrome that attacks children and is associated with COVID-19 has surfaced in Florida, adding a scary new dimension to the battle against the coronavirus in the state.

Florida hits grim total of 2K+ COVID-19 deaths

The Florida Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that 2,052 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

  City of Sarasota offering grants to small businesses, here’s how to apply

The City of Sarasota is now accepting applications for their Small Business and Safety Assistance Grant Program.

  Vacation Rentals May Soon Be Open for Visitors on the Suncoast

Sarasota County will be finalizing their vacation rental plan on Wednesday, and they hope to receive approval from the state by Friday. This way, property owners can roll out their welcome mats just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Disney Springs reopening comes with a warning about risk

As Walt Disney World prepares to allow some third-party shops and restaurants to open at its entertainment complex later this week, it’s posting a warning.

Florida sits just shy of 2K COVID-19 deaths

With its 11 a.m. update, the Department of Health confirms that Florida has suffered 1,997 deaths from COVID-19. The state currently has 46,442 laboratory confirmed cases.

Monroe County to suspend checkpoints June 1, re-open Florida Keys

Monroe County announced their plans to reopen to visitors and lift restrictions in the Florida Keys. On Monday, June 1, the county will suspend the checkpoints on U.S. 1 and State Road 905.

Florida is now in 'Full Phase 1’ of re-opening

Fitness centers, restaurants, and retail are impacted.

  New state COVID-19 testing site at Robert L Taylor Community Complex

State officials have set up a new testing site in the city of Sarasota where there are rolling out new features at the test site.

FDOH reports over 45,500 confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) confirmed on Saturday morning that the state now has 44,138 confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

  Did you file for unemployment in March and still haven’t received benefits?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a news conference in Jacksonville Friday said 99.99% of people who filed in March, qualified for unemployment and completed their applications should have received benefits.

  Westfield Malls reopen on the Suncoast

Two Westfield Malls reopened on the Suncoast on Friday.

  MacDill Air Force base conducts flyover in honor of frontline workers and first responders

The Macdill Air Force base organized a flyover on Friday morning in honor of our medical professionals and first responders.

  Suncoast Gyms Preparing to Re-open on Monday

Fitness centers can open their doors, as long as there is limited capacity to ensure social distancing can occur, and equipment must be disinfected after each use. Plus, many gym owners say they’ll be putting additional safety measures in place.

DOH Sarasota adds more testing around the county

DOH Sarasota will add more COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites throughout the county next week.

City of Sarasota extends public health emergency until May 22

The City of Sarasota has extended its public health emergency until May 22.

  Doctor whose milestone was celebrated by hospital staff gets memorable send-off

It's a happy ending to a long saga for the Hefler family.

  Percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Manatee County continues to decline

Even though the number of COVID-19 cases in Manatee County continues to rise, the overall percentage of people testing positive for the virus has been on a steady decline for the past 10 days.

A military tribute coming to the skies over Suncoast Friday morning

Two planes will show tribute to thousands of healthcare workers in the Tampa Bay area, and a special stop will come right over the Suncoast.

Suncoast Strong COVID-19 resource guide

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our daily lives, but residents in the Suncoast are committed to rebuilding and coming back stronger than ever. ABC7 is working to keep you informed and safe. We have created a COVID-19 resource guide that will provide information on ways to stay healthy and

All City of Sarasota tennis courts to re-open Friday

All tennis courts owned and operated by the City of Sarasota will re-open Friday, May 15.

DeSantis set to make an announcement regarding gyms Friday

Gov. DeSantis told reporters that he plans on making an announcement regarding re-opening gyms Friday.

Desantis signs order to allow Miami-Dade, Broward counties into Phase 1 re-opening

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he signed an executive order to allow Miami-Dade and Broward County to transition to Phase 1 of Florida’s plan to re-open.

Publix to expand store hours

Publix has announced that it will be extending store hours and eliminating reserved shopping time periods.

Here’s what industries are currently hiring

More than 1.9 Million people in Florida have filed for unemployment since March 15th. So, when it comes to searching for jobs, what industries are hiring?

Face mask giveaway continues in Manatee County

County Commissioners in Manatee County are holding more mask giveaways this week in areas hit hard by COVID-19.

  Hotels Fully Welcoming Visitors, but Vacation rentals remain off limits in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended until April 30 an executive order that suspended rentals of vacation properties because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education leaders eye ways to reopen schools

As specifics continue to be ironed out, State Board of Education member Michael Olenick has requested that Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran create a pandemic task force that would focus on the numerous changes that schools will need to make in the coming months.

  DOH-Manatee urging people to continue wearing face coverings while in the public

The Department of Health-Manatee County (DOH-Manatee) is urging the community to continue wearing masks or face coverings while out in the public.

Governor officially extends executive order suspending non-payment evictions and foreclosures

Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an extension on an executive order preventing evictions and foreclosures due to non-payment.

DeSantis wants teams to restart games in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s time for professional sports teams to play ball again in Florida.

  City of North Port to hold virtual Memorial Day ceremony

The City of North Port announced on Wednesday that a virtual ceremony will be held on Memorial Day to make sure those have sacrificed their lives are remembered properly.

  City of Sarasota expands outdoor seating options at local restaurants

The City of Sarasota has created a new temporary outdoor café permit in a move to increase traffic at local restaurants. The permit is a move to aid these businesses while continuing to protect patrons.

Florida DOH announces 42,402 confirmed cases of COVID-19

The Florida Department of Health has announced 42, 402 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DOH Sarasota adds another testing site for Friday

DOH Sarasota has added an additional day of COVID-19 drive-thru testing.

SRQ Airport seeing slight increase in passengers during the month of May

The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is starting to see people begin to travel again. This is after the airport took a huge hit in the month of April, with their passenger traffic down about 95%.

  City of Venice votes to send letter to Governor’s Office asking that COVID-19 tests be provided at pharmacies

Venice city leaders want to make it easier for residents to be tested for COVID-19.

Want a direct deposit of your stimulus money? Better hurry.

People should visit the Get My Payment website to update their information and check the status of their payment.

23,000 people have received PUA benefits,while others are waiting on a link to apply

As hundreds of thousands are waiting on benefits, many who were deemed ineligible are waiting on a link to apply for federal funds.

  Suncoast Election Officials Push for Vote-By-Mail Ballots, Prepare Safety Measures for Precincts

They are also expecting a poll worker shortage because the usual tellers are now part of the vulnerable population, so voting locations will most likely have to be consolidated.

  Manatee County Commission lifts beach parking restrictions

Tuesday, the Manatee County Commission voted unanimously to lift restrictions on beach parking.

Latest Florida COVID-19 numbers show 41,923 cases

The Department of Health has released the state’s latest COVID-19 totals that show the case has confirmed 41,923 cases.

DEO asking March unemployment filers with pending cases to check accounts

The Department of Economic Opportunity is asking anyone with a pending case who applied in March to check their accounts.

  Many say CONNECT system remains faulty as thousands go on server to claim unemployment weeks

While many people are still waiting on their initial benefits, the state is now requiring people to claim their weeks.

  Restaurants and Shops are Open in the City of Sarasota, so why is Lido Beach Closed?

More testing has just become available throughout the county, so City Commissioners are hoping that will be able to give them a better look at whether or not the virus is under control throughout the city.

  FDA now granting emergency authorization for new coronavirus test

The FDA is granting emergency authorization for a new coronavirus test.

How Manatee County plans to deal with tourism amidst the Coronavirus

As Florida begins to open back up, Manatee County officials are brainstorming ways to get tourist back safely.

Florida DOH reports 1,735 COVID-19 deaths

In its 11 a.m. update, the Florida Department of Health confirmed that there are 1,735 deaths due to COVID-19 in the state.

  Barbershops, hair and nail salons to re-open

Barbershops, hair salons and nail salons get the green light to open, but there are restrictions you need to know about before heading to your favorite location.

State issues testing orders for long-term care facilities

The orders require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to allow the Florida Department of Health into their buildings for infection control and conducting COVID-19 testing of residents and staff.

  Police to pass out masks to residents starting today

The Sarasota Police Department will be passing out protective masks to residents in need this week.

  No timeline for retroactive payments, DEO says they’re rolling out payments as quickly as possible

The Department of Economic Opportunity wasn’t able to give us a clear timeline of when retroactive payments will be paid out in full.

  Travel and Tourism on the Suncoast After COVID-19

When many can finally take a vacation, it won’t be what they’re expecting or even close to how things used to be as warnings will be displayed and other safety measures are put in place.