On Thursday a judge lifted a stay on his ruling against Florida’s order for schools to open to in-person instruction this month.
On its Facebook page, the Florida Education Association says this means that local school districts can make reopening decisions based upon safety considerations, not on mandates from the governor.
The judge said that students and school staff are in danger of “irreparable injury” if his order doesn’t go into effect.
The state still intends to continue to appeal the judge’s decisions.
Many local school districts have already started in-person instruction. Hillsborough began with online-only instruction but plans to open to optional in-person instruction for students on Monday.
On Thursday afternoon, the Hillsborough School district announced it would hold an emergency meeting Friday morning.
“Superintendent Addison Davis and School Board Chair Melissa Snively are calling an Emergency School Board Meeting on Friday, August 28, at 8 a.m., to address the order vacating automatic stay entered by Judge Charles Dodson Thursday afternoon. The meeting will be held in the School Board auditorium located at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.”
Listen to the 5:30 p.m. WMNF News headlines for 27 August 2020:
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Here is a link to the judge’s Thursday ruling.
Below is a press release from the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center
Aug. 27 County Commission COVID-19 Special Meeting Summary:
Trends Continue in the Right Direction
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 213
Hillsborough County, Fla. (Aug. 27, 2020) – Hillsborough County Commissioners today extended the state of local emergency enacted in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
A state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless extended. The declaration gives the County Administrator and emergency managers the ability to quickly take certain actions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and provides a path for federal reimbursement of certain expenses. The COVID-19 state of local emergency also incorporates an executive order mandating face coverings be worn in indoor locations of businesses, with certain exceptions.
An update on local data presented to Commissioners during their weekly COVID-19 meeting reflected that trends continue in the right direction:
The rolling 14-day average number of positive cases on Aug. 26 was 211, as compared to 250 on Aug. 19, and 339 on Aug. 13.
The 14-day positivity rate is 7.27%.
COVID-19 hospitalizations also are trending downward.
Still, community transmission of the virus continues and people must not let down their guard, said Dr. Douglas Holt, director of the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County. He reminded residents to continue to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, avoid large crowds, and wash hands frequently.
Commissioners also received a presentation from Dr. Douglas Ross, Chief Medical Officer, AdventHealth Tampa, on the encouraging use of convalescent plasma and Remdesivir in treating COVID-19 patients. To view the presentation, go to the County’s YouTube channel, YouTube.com/HillsboroughCounty, and call up the video from today’s meeting.
The next meeting of the County Commission to address emergency management issues related to COVID-19 is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 3, at 1:30 p.m.
Other Hillsborough County News
Hillsborough County residents have access to free COVID-19 testing at nine test sites across the County six days a week. Test sites have daytime or evening appointment slots. Health care professionals have helped to administer almost 100,000 COVID-19 tests since late March. Test results recently have been returned to residents in three to five business days.
Residents can make an appointment for a test by going to HCFLGov.net/COVIDTesting. To make an appointment by phone, call (888) 513-6321 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can choose which test site they want to use or which day they want to get tested, and then make an appointment at the closest site at their earliest convenience.
For residents who are homebound or who do not have reliable access to transportation, Hillsborough County also offers in-home testing by calling (888) 513-6321 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the county, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system.
Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County’s main information line.