Escambia County recorded an additional COVID-19 death as cases were up by 117 on Tuesday. The fatality was a 92-year old woman that was not a resident of a long-term care facility. Escambia County cases increased to 3,059 and Santa Rosa cases were up by 39 to 941. Of the tests returned on Monday, 15.6% were positive in Escambia County and 16.9% were positive in Santa Rosa County. Statewide, there were 213,794 cases and 3,841 deaths.
ECSD OPENING PLAN
We’ll find out later today what the plan is for school to reopen in Escambia County. Superintendent Malcolm Thomas has scheduled a news conference for this afternoon to outline how the district plans to bring students back into the classroom next month. The state has ordered schools to reopen, despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
LOCAL SCHOOLS ON REOPENING
The Santa Rosa County School District continues to press towards re-opening doors to students this fall. Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick tells Channel 3 their task force had already drafted their reopening plan prior to Monday’s executive order that all schools be open. Wyrosdick adds that even with all of the precautions, he does expect a decline in enrollment.
MILTON BLACK LIVES MATTER MURAL
So far, no formal proposal has been submitted to the city of Milton regarding a “Black Lives Matter” street mural–but the idea is making the rounds on social media and some are already making their voices heard. During Monday night’s executive committee meeting, several residents spoke out against the idea. There was no agenda item, but the vast majority of council members were against it as well.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT RECOMMENDATION
Pensacola city staff has sent in their recommendation on the Confederate Monument in Lee Square to Mayor Grover Robinson as well as City Council. In the memorandum, staff had to consider if the Square in its current format is equitable and representative to all the citizens of the community. They carefully reviewed Pensacola’s collective heritage and historic landscape and determined that Lee Square and the monument do not reflect the city’s current values nor strive to create a more inclusive City. Their recommendation is that City Council approve the removal of the Confederate monument and give the Mayor the authorization to award a contract to implement Council’s approval.
GULF POWER GETS GO-AHEAD ON PANDEMIC COSTS
State regulators have approved a proposal that could lead to Gulf Power passing along coronavirus-related costs to customers. The approval comes despite arguments that the Northwest Florida utility should be responsible for its expenses in trying to prevent the spread of the disease. The decision by the Florida Public Service Commission was an initial step that allows Gulf Power to start an accounting process for costs of safety-related measures and bad debt from customers not paying bills during the pandemic. The company in the future could return to the commission to seek approval to recoup the costs from customers.
FEDERAL RULE PUTS INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN JEOPARDY
New federal regulations that could affect thousands of foreign students throughout the state are complicating Florida universities’ plans to reopen campuses in the fall. State university officials on Tuesday were scrambling to figure out the full implications of a regulation issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday that will not allow foreign students to stay in the country if they only take online classes during the fall. Meanwhile, international students are awaiting updates from their schools, and some are growing fearful of being deported.