Loading…

FLORIDA UPDATES: Current status | Vaccine sites

New COVID Cases Reported in Polk Are Declining

Polk County’s latest uptick in COVID-19 cases has peaked. The number of new cases has shown a downward trend over the last four weeks after increasing steadily over a four-month period, according to weekly tallies reported by the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID Positive Testing Rate in Polk Climbs to 23%

The proportion of people in Polk County whose COVID-19 tests turn out positive is nearly one in four, which is higher than the state average, Fox 13 News reports. While the prevalent Omicron variants are not as virulent as previous strains, patients say it’s no picnic. Reporter Ken Suarez interviews Lakeland Regional Health’s Dr. Hal…

CDC Recommends Indoor Masking in Polk as Infections Rise

Polk is among a growing number of Florida counties where the Centers for Disease Control is recommending indoor masking as the number of infections here has risen steadily from a low of 230 case in the last week of March to 2,116 last week.

Polk Doctors Report Unexpected Late-Season Flu Levels

Polk County doctors and health organizations say they are seeing an unexpected and unseasonal rise in flu and other respiratory viruses, News Channel 8 reports. Polk is one of two Florida counties reporting “moderate flu activity” for the last week in April, and patients are having trouble finding Tamiflu, the station reports. Physicians recommend flu…

Mask Ruling Puts Federal Judge From Lakeland in National Spotlight

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a 35-year-old Lakeland native, is in the national spotlight after her ruling struck down the Biden administration’s mandate requiring masks on public transportation, CNN reports. Mizelle, the 2005 valedictorian at Lakeland Christian School, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida by former President…

Read It in the Morning Paper: Rick Olivo, COVID-19, Hubbell

RICK OLIVO, who founded the troupe that evolved into Lakeland Community Theatre, taught generations of visual artists and created the model for Lakeland’s Swansation sculptures, died Saturday at age 74.COVID-19 cases in Polk County declined for a seventh straight week to the kinds of levels seen in the weeks before the omicron surge; testing positivity…

Read It in the Morning Paper: Book Ban, COVID-19

BOOK BAN: The effort to remove 16 books from Polk school libraries is an initiative of the Florida Citizens Alliance, The Ledger reports in a subscribers-only story. The non-profit organization has worked to ban certain books in schools throughout Florida for five years and prompted the state law that  allows any citizen, not just parents…

COVID in Polk: New Infections, Hospitalizations Decline as Deaths Rise

The latest reports tracking COVID-19 in Polk County contain mixed messages: New infections declined for a second straight week after the omicron strain brought record levels. Hospitalizations at Lakeland Regional Health were down slightly Monday from week-ago levels. But deaths in Polk and throughout Florida continue rising.

Read It in the Morning Paper: Hospital Employees, Cold Temps

HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE VACCINES: Today is the deadline for health-care facilities to comply with federal rules requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees who haven’t received an exemption. Lakeland Regional Health, like other Polk hospitals, issued a statement suggesting it is ready to follow the regulations but not mentioning penalties for employees who don’t comply. (Subscribers-only story)COLD TEMPS:…

As Cold Drives Need, Talbot House Assured of Funds for New Boilers

The city of Lakeland will advance a languishing request by Talbot House Ministries to help pay for two new boilers the nonprofit had to install last year when its existing system failed by using money from a $50,000 U.S. Housing & Urban Development block grant.

Lakeland Regional Health Joins National Ivermectin Study

Lakeland Regional Health is participating in a national study to determine the effectiveness of ivermectin and two other prescription drugs in treating COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms, The Ledger reports. Qualifying patients are offered the chance to participate at the emergency room, and those who agree receive the drugs or a placebo at…

Drop in New COVID-19 Cases Signals Possible Omicron Peak in Polk

Declining numbers of new COVID-19 infections this week signal that the omicron surge in Polk County and statewide may have started receding. In Polk, 10,837 new cases were tallied between Jan. 14 and 20, according to the latest report from the Florida Department of Health. That’s a 27% decrease from the previous week and the…

LRH Opens a COVID-19 Clinic Near ER for Patients With Mild Symptoms

Lakeland Regional Health has opened a temporary COVID-19 Care Clinic for patients with mild, cold-like symptoms. It’s across Parkview Place from the hospital’s emergency room and intended to relieve pressure from the busy ER, News Channel 8 reports. The clinic is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Patients with difficulty breathing, chest…

COVID Cases in Polk Hit New High, But Rate of Growth is Slowing

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Polk County hit a new high last week, but the rate of increase is slowing down, according to the latest report from the Florida Department of Health. The testing positivity rate is still over 30%, but lower than the previous week, the report shows. And Lakeland Regional Health…

Read It in the Morning Paper: Teacher Salaries, COVID Hospitalizations, Ledger Cutbacks

TEACHER SALARIES: The Polk School Board has ratified retroactive teacher pay increases negotiated between administrators and union reps. Among the raises: Teachers hired before July 1, 2014, get an extra $210; those hired later get an extra $315. COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS in Polk were up 74% last week over the prior week, according to the CDC. Lakeland…

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.