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Your Monday Update: How to Choose a Face Mask, Miami is New Outbreak Epicenter, Villages Nursing Home Hit Hard by Coronavirus

Photo: CDC @cdc

NBA’s Russell Westbrook tests positive for COVID-19 before traveling to Orlando

Brendan Byrne, WMFE

NBA player Russell Westbrook says he tested positive for COVID-19 before traveling to Orlando to finish the NBA’s season.

In a post on social media, the star Houston Rockets player says he is feeling well and quarantined.

The NBA is finishing up its suspended season later this month at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World. The NBA is taking precautions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic like frequent testing and limiting travel of players and staff.

Major League Soccer is also hosting games at Disney. So far, two teams have backed out of the tournament after multiple players and staff tested positive.

Students of all ages: Welcome to Planet Money’s summer school

Planet Money, NPR

First lesson: Economics is not about money.

It’s a way to see the world, a lens of great power and beauty. It can help us understand everything from the stock market to marriage and divorce to elections to the decisions you make in everyday life.

In today’s episode, we learn to make decisions like an economist. We learn a few of the fundamental concepts of economics, then watch them in action. Our reporter applies the concept of opportunity cost to her dating life, and shrugs off the sunk cost fallacy. We put a deal for chicken nuggets to the test of marginal cost and marginal benefits, and we take Uber for a ride to cost-benefit test.


  • Opportunity cost
  • Sunk cost fallacy
  • Marginal benefit and marginal costs
  • Market equilibrium


  • Look at some facet of your life that you might not have thought was fundamentally economic. And look again. Now that you’ve listened, can you see market forces at work underpinning the decisions that people are making? Tell us about it. #PMSummerSchool

What you need to know about protective face masks

Life Kit, NPR 

There’s growing evidence that masks help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Committing to wearing a mask out in the world all the time, though, can also raise some questions. What do you do when you want to take a sip of water? Or when you’re exercising?

NPR’s Sarah McCammon asked Maria Godoy, NPR’s health correspondent, some common questions about wearing masks.

Doctor: Miami becoming ‘epicenter’ of coronvirus outbreak

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A top doctor is warning that Florida’s rapidly increasing number of coronavirus cases is turning Miami into the “epicenter of the pandemic,” and an epidemiologist says the region’s situation is “extremely grave.”

Their assessments come as Florida recorded more than 12,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Monday after a record-setting weekend.

The spike partly reflects the larger number of tests being performed but also a high percentage of those returning positive.

The state set a national daily record of more than 15,000 cases reported Sunday.

The state added another 35 deaths Monday, with the one-week average remaining at 71 per day.

Twenty-one staff members and 10 residents at a nursing home near The Villages have tested positive for the coronavirus

Joe Byrnes, WMFE

Two residents of that nursing home – the Lady Lake Specialty Care Center – have been transferred, according to a state report showing recent cases as of Friday.

The test results come as Florida requires testing of all staff at long-term care facilities every two weeks.

Similar outbreaks are showing up at other Central Florida long-term care centers.

Those include Viera Health and Rehabilitation Center in Melbourne, where 21 employees and seven residents have tested positive. 

At Ocoee Health Care Center in Ocoee, it’s 22 staff members and 12 residents. In Seminole County, three long-term care facilities are seeing numerous cases. And in Polk County, five nursing homes have large outbreaks.

Florida gas prices at three-month high

Tom Urban, WLRN

Florida gas prices are now at their highest levels in 15 weeks, averaging two dollars and ten cents per gallon for regular unleaded fuel.

Gas prices are up nine cents per gallon from last month, but still down 54 cents from July 2019.

According to AAA Auto Club, the overall demand for gasoline has gone up recently, as some people begin to return to work and other activities during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, recent increases in the number of COVID-19 cases has markets cautious, leaving crude oil prices stagnant.

AAA spokesman W. D. Williams expects the price uncertainty in the market to continue.

“There’s always a little lag between the prices of crude oil and the market supply and demand. It always seems like gas prices tend to go up quickly and then drop a little slower than they go up.”

The most expensive gas in Florida is being sold in West Palm Beach, while the cheapest fuel in the state can be found in Fort Myers and Orlando.

Florida reports more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

Florida reported 12,624 new coronavirus cases on Monday. These new numbers bring the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the state to 282,435 since mid-March. 

Almost 18,500 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and another 4,381 have died from complications.

Orange County leads Central Florida with the most coronavirus cases with 18,624 residents who have fallen ill.

Here’s the rundown throughout Central Florida so far:

Orange County: 18,937 cases, 564 hospitalizations, 83 deaths

Osceola County: 4,442 cases, 224 hospitalizations, 31 deaths

Seminole County: 4,466 cases, 207 hospitalizations, 24 deaths

Volusia County: 3,972 cases, 314 hospitalizations, 78 deaths

Brevard County: 3,510 cases, 207 hospitalizations, 29 deaths

Lake County: 2,645 cases, 148 hospitalizations, 27 deaths

Sumter County: 679 cases, 82 hospitalizations, 18 deaths

Orange County CARES Act portal will reopen Monday

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

The Orange County CARES Act portal will reopen Monday at 8 am.

The system will accept up to 10,000 new applications.

This could be the last time the portal opens to the public.

Residents with a confirmation number who have not been contacted by the county should not start another application as it will disqualify them.

2 Florida strip clubs shut down for violating COVID rules

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — State officials say two Florida strip clubs were shut down as part of a statewide crackdown on violators of a June 26 emergency order forcing bars to close in the face of rising coronavirus cases.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended the licenses of Le Palace Otown in Orlando and Show N Tail The Legend in Panama City Beach, saying that patrons didn’t observe social distancing guidelines.

In both cases, the orders said DBPR had the authority to suspend a license if there is an “immediate threat to the public health, safety or welfare.”

At the NBA restart, team equipment is a challenge to manage

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — All 22 teams in the NBA restart had to pack more than ever, for a road trip like none other.

Every team is assured of spending at least five weeks at Disney, and some could be there for three months.

That means equipment managers are among the unsung heroes of the NBA’s restart plan.

Many say they packed four to five times what they would ordinarily bring on a road trip.

By the time games start, the 22 teams will have more than 4,000 jerseys between them.

And teams that are used to bringing two equipment managers on trips will have to make do with one.

Paying the price of coronavirus

It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, NPR

Four months into the pandemic, it seems like we’re no better off in dealing with the coronavirus.

There are still so many questions and few definitive answers about how this all ends, and for a lot of us, that’s turned into anger and frustration.

Sam talks to comedian Laurie Kilmartin about how she used Twitter and her iPad to process her mother’s illness and death from COVID-19. Then he chats with Houston bar owner Greg Perez about how he’s trying to keep workers and customers safe while also keeping his business afloat.

And Sam asks Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo in Miami about how to make sense of all the mixed public health messaging on the coronavirus.

Sarasota Memorial is first hospital in Florida to launch antibody trial against coronavirus

Kerry Sheridan, WUSF

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is the first in the state to launch a scientific trial using an experimental antibody against coronavirus.

Infectious disease doctor Manuel Gordillo says he hopes the antibody cocktail, made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, will offer a new way to treat and possibly prevent COVID-19.

“This is a new antibody that has been specifically designed to attack the spike protein which is a critical part of the coronavirus. It is the part of the virus that attaches to the human cells.”

First, it’s being tested in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and who need oxygen. A second study later this month will test the treatment in people with milder illness who are not hospitalized.

Finally, researchers will see if it works as a once-a-month vaccine to prevent illness in people who have been exposed to coronavirus.

Regeneron’s antibody treatment is grown in a lab, so its supply doesn’t rely on human donations, like convalescent plasma which doctors say is running critically low.

A pediatric infectious disease expert weighs in on what’s known about coronavirus transmission in children

Kerry Sheridan, WUSF

Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down Saturday on his stance that sending teachers and children back to school next month would be safe, even as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Florida are on the rise.

Dr. Sunil Sood is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Northwell Health in New York City, one of the first hotspots in the US for COVID-19. He says plenty remains unknown about the virus, including the effect of repeated exposure.

“I think it’s easy to say we know almost nothing about immunity to the virus yet whether it’s children or in adults, it just has not been long enough for us to say that a person infected once could or couldn’t get it again and so that applies to children as well.”

Dr. Sood also says while research suggests children are less likely to spread coronavirus than say, the flu, they can still spread it.

“Children will spread the virus to some degree. They will spread it to each other but also to the adult staff.”

That’s why he says physical distancing, outdoor classrooms and mask-wearing are important in any back-to-school plan. He advises people to listen to local public health departments for guidance.

As US grapples with virus, Florida hits record case increase

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — With the United States grappling with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, Florida hit a grim milestone Sunday, shattering the national record for a state’s largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, countries in Eastern Europe are facing rising waves of coronavirus infections, leading to riots in Serbia, mandatory face masks in Croatia and travel bans or quarantines imposed by Hungary.

The new restrictions come as the World Health Organization reports that daily global infections hit over 228,000 last week, and the U.S. confirmed over 66,600 new cases on Friday, another record.

‘Let the music play on’: Parkland dad honors late son by providing free lessons to band kids affected by COVID-19

Jessica Bakeman, WLRN

When COVID-19 closed schools in March, it silenced many middle and high school choirs and bands. A father who lost his son in the Parkland shooting wanted to, “let the music play on.”

That’s what he’s calling his initiative to bring virtual music lessons to kids attending Title I schools during the pandemic.

A few months before the shooting that took 17 lives in Parkland, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s marching band won its first ever state championship.

Alex Schachter performed with his bandmates on Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg during these finals — a few days before Thanksgiving in 2017.

His dad, Max, was watching from the stands.

“When they announced that Marjory Stoneman Douglas had won, you know, it’s just tremendous joy, and the kids are screaming and yelling,” Schachter said.

“That was one of my happiest memories.”

Alex, tragically, was one of the students killed at Stoneman Douglas on February 14th, 2018.

Max Schachter wanted to share that joy Alex found playing his trombone with other kids — especially now, with schools closed since March because of COVID-19.

“I know the power of music. We know all the positive effects that it had on Alex. And we wanted to try to spread that to children in schools that, that need it the most,” Schachter said.

Like Rickards Middle in Fort Lauderdale. Schachter is raising money to provide private virtual music lessons to students there.

“Yup, let’s find that high D.”

This is Valeria Valera practicing her trombone. She’s 13 and going into eighth grade at Rickards. Schachter’s foundation — Safe Schools for Alex — gave her her instrument and is now providing these free virtual lessons from the School of Rock in Boca Raton.

“What motivates me to go to school is usually band class. It’s at the end of the day so I have to wait all day,” Valera said.

After school went online, band class wasn’t the same. She says her virtual trombone lessons are the highlight of her summer.

“Yay! Something to do! I look forward to it every time,” Valera said.

Valera says she can’t wait for things to get back to normal so she can show her classmates how much she’s improved.

The small business roller coaster

The Indicator from Planet Money, NPR

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle has been on the same economic and political roller coaster ride many small businesses have.

Now they’re trying to open back up, survive and grow.

Palm Beach County breaks 1,000 cases in a single day for the first time

Wilkine Brutus, WLRN

Palm Beach County added more than 1,000 cases in a single day for the first time. That’s according to state data released Sunday.

Chris Arrue is the co-founder of FDMG Music Studios. The rise in COVID-19 cases has him worried about his family.

“Definitely concerned. My Mom has a compromised immune system and my brother has I believe it’s a spleen he’s missing. He’s being very proactive and very rigid as well, making sure he’s not going anywhere. My Mom is pretty much in the house all day.”

Arrue and his wife are reacting to the record-breaking coronavirus news by doing what they’ve always done.

They’re proactive about wearing masks, and their kids are still adjusting to the changes.

“She still goes to work every day and I have to run a small business, so with cases on the rise she’s very adamant about washing our hands, wearing a mask everywhere. My kids don’t go anywhere. They’re a little stir crazy, but our friends aren’t coming over. Our kids aren’t going to their friend’s house. It’s very much isolation.”

The total positive COVID-19 cases in Palm Beach County is now 21,018.

Julia Hartz on events in the age of COVID-19 with Guy Raz

How I Built This, NPR

The business of live events was one of the first industries to feel the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Now, as cities across the country begin the process of reopening, while COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, the question remains of what the future of live events is.

For Julia Hartz, Founder and CEO of Eventbrite, things are starting to turn around, but there is still a lot more work to be done.

Trump, Biden try to outdo each other on tough talk on China

WASHINGTON (AP) — China has fast become a top election issue as President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden engage in a verbal brawl over who’s better at playing the tough guy against Beijing.

China is more than simply a foreign policy issue in the campaign. It’s an issue that runs deeply through the United States’ troubles with the coronavirus.

Voters also will be asking themselves whether Trump or Biden can best defend the U.S. against China’s unfair trade practices, theft of intellectual property rights, rising aggression across the globe and human rights abuses.

One pollster says the candidate who looks more subservient to China’s leaders is the candidate who’s in more jeopardy.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »