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Intersection: COVID-19 Surge Fills Hospitals; Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy; Mask Ban Lawsuit

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COVID-19 cases are spiking in Florida- and hospitals are filling up. Hospitalization numbers have surged past last year’s peak, with hotspots in Jacksonville, Central and South Florida. 

On this episode of Intersection, host Matthew Peddie talks with Justin Senior, CEO of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, about how the surge is stressing hospital capacity- and frontline medical staff. 

The latest spike in cases has been described as a pandemic of the unvaccinated, but with vaccines now widely available, why is it that some are choosing not to get a shot? 

Ann Cristiano, director of the University of Florida College of Journalism Center for Public Interest Communications,  joins the show to discuss her research into vaccine hesitancy, and how to change people’s minds. 

The polarized politics around mask mandates has sparked a lawsuit. A group of parents whose kids have disabilities are suing Governor Ron DeSantis over his ban on mask mandates at public schools.  We’ll hear from one of those parents, Judi Hayes, and attorney Matthew Dietz- who talk to WMFE's Joe Byrnes about why they filed the lawsuit.