Thu, 13 Aug 2020

Florida [USA], July 9 (ANI): Florida, which was once lauded by US President Donald Trump for being a model in managing the coronavirus pandemic is now one of the epicenters of the outbreak.

While Governor continues to downplay the growing number of cases by saying that high number of testing is responsible for the increase in number of cases, the hospitals are overrun with patients. The Washington Post cited a data by the state's Agency for Health Care Administration stating that 52 intensive care units across more than a third of the state's counties reached its capacity by Tuesday. Beside, 17 hospitals have also run out of regular beds.

Meanwhile, some nurses at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach have reported that they have been working 18 hours instead of the usual 12 hours shift due to overnight staffing shortages. The patients are being treated in an open area separated by curtains that is typically used for quick medical consultations, The Post quoted a nurse who spoke on the condition of anonymity fearing of losing her job.

Amid such reports, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has ordered the state's schools to re-open for in-person instruction next month.

In Palm Beach County, first-grade teacher Cara Conlogue, at Coral Reef Elementary School west of Lake Worth Beach, was quoted as saying, "The science is going in one direction and conditions are getting worse and the politicians are going in the opposite direction."She said, "I can't wrap my head around it. If it wasn't safe for us when there were 100 cases, how can it be safe for us when we have thousands and thousands of cases? I don't get that logic...I've spoken with a lot of my teacher friends and a lot of them don't want to go back.""We love our students, we miss them, and we love our jobs. But we don't feel safe," she added.

"We want to proceed with caution, but unfortunately the governor continues to deny the science," Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association, was quoted as saying. "The trend over the last 30 days has been astronomical. We're in regression, we're going backward. In terms of the amount of cases, we are literally going backward as a state."Meanwhile, the surge in number of cases has worried the sports leagues that were to restart their seasons; and the Republican National Convention.

"My concern has grown since a week ago. It has gotten worse," Tommy Hazouri, the Democratic president of the city council and a former Jacksonville mayor, was quoted as saying.

Ahead of the convention, several hundred doctors have signed a petition saying that the convention needs stronger safety measures. Nancy Staats, a retired anesthesiologist who lives in the Jacksonville area, said, "We're really focused on the health and well-being of the citizens of our city and state now. That's still six or seven weeks off and we're still climbing scarily, rapidly. This is about people's lives, including the attendees of this event."Recently, Disney World announced that it would begin entry of visitors into the Magic Kingdom this week.

Reacting to this decision, the Actors' Equity Association, a union representing over 700 Disney World stage managers and actors, has reportedly said that the Disney World has failed to provide a coronavirus testing plan.

Kate Shindle, union's president, was quoted as saying, "You certainly can't wave Mickey's magic wand and say that Florida isn't a central hot spot right now. Personally, as the president of the organisation that is fighting for the safety of these performers, I'm mystified by the fact that Disney is attempting to open the park right now." (ANI)

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