Florida enters this week with the lowest trend for new COVID-19 cases in nearly two months. With an average of 10,919 daily cases over the past week, it’s the lowest total since July 23rd. The good news regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations continued through the weekend as well. Over the weekend, it was reported that 8,642 Floridians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the lowest total since July 27th.
In other news, it's not looking good for manatees. An estimated 10% of Florida’s manatee population has died this year. A record-setting 937 manatees have died with starvation being the most common reason. Approximately half of the deaths have occurred at the Indian River Lagoon, which has been the most negatively impacted estuary in the state from discharges of water out of Lake Okeechobee. The discharges, and subsequent algae crises, have resulted in widespread loss of seagrass throughout Florida’s waterways in recent years.
Lastly, additional details have emerged regarding Governor DeSantis’ proposed plan to end and replace the FSA, or Florida Statewide Assessment test. The governor’s plan would replace the FSA with what would be known as FAST, or the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking. The FAST program has three short “check-in” assessments occurring in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.