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News From Action News Jax

    UF Health’s department of anesthesiology in Gainesville, FL has developed and patented two prototypes for masks. The department says the masks are more protective than N95s. “It blocks 99.9% of particulates,” the department of anesthesiology says on a UF Health website. “... Making the masks about 4% more effective at blocking particulate material than the N95 masks, according to Bruce Spiess, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology in the UF College of Medicine, who made that calculation based on the manufacturer’s specifications.” According to UF Health’s department of anesthesiology: The masks are made from Halyard H600 two-ply spun polypropylene, and can’t be penetrated by water, bacteria or particles. The prototypes are being fit tested. Designs are being refined to determine which of the mask designs are better for different types of faces. Instructions and supplies list for members of the public looking to make the masks: https://anest.ufl.edu/clinical-divisions/alternative-n95-mask-production/ How you can help UF Health Jacksonville: UF Health Jacksonville is accepting monetary donations to assist in the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), improving access to telehealth services and providing meals for medical staff. UF Health Jacksonville is also accepting Clorox wipes (or equivalent), thermometers (in-ear) and medical grade, CDC-approved masks (not homemade). To donate supplies, please call our Volunteer Services department at to coordinate delivery at 904-244-4271. Supplies may be dropped off at:
  • Community hospitals predict Jacksonville will experience its peak in coronavirus cases in about one month, early May. Some local experts said it could start to ramp up by the end of the week. “We’re looking up at the mountain right now, that wave is coming at us,” Dr. David Caro said. “We’re just doing everything we can to be ready for it.” Dr. Caro is one of the leaders at UF Health in Jacksonville who is preparing each of their facilities for a surge in COVID-19 patients. Right now, he said UF Health’s patient volume is low due to canceled elective surgeries, patient discharge, and social distancing. However, they predict more cases will start to come in by the end of the week. “It’s allowed us to start our instant command system earlier,” he said. “We’ve got a number of folks working on various different parts of the hospital and response we’re going to have because we know we’re going to have it.” For live updates on the coronavirus, click here . RELATED:  Florida coronavirus cases | Georgia coronavirus cases | Symptoms | How to stay healthy |  Interactive map: Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard  | Interactive Map: Coronavirus cases around the world UF Health has more than 600 licensed beds for patients between its two facilities. Dr. Caro said their emergency response team is also identifying new spaces in the hospital to potentially treat COVID-19 patients. However, he said these patients need specific type of room, equipment, health care professionals, and protective gear for treatment. “Using all of the predictive models that’s out now and exists, we’re expecting a surge of anywhere between 200 to 400% of our usual volume,” He said. “So that’s coming and we know it’s going to start to ramp up within this week or the next is what we’re expecting.” Local experts at UF Health have created a predictive model to estimate the peak for the coronavirus. Using this information and other models from the Westcoast, Dr. Caro said they are preparing for the worst to hit Jacksonville in Early May. “To look at the graph, the spreadsheet, it kind of ramps up and hit a peak at about a month from now and then ramps back down,” He said. “So we’re expecting two months’ worth of higher than normal volumes and we’re expecting that really soon.” To prepare for a surge, UF Health is conserving equipment, supplies, and making sure they would have enough staff to care for patients. Officials said the facilities have a limited supply of personal protective gear and working to get more from the State. “We’re going to be at limited resources for a long period of time,” Dr. Caro said. “So identifying the right equipment for the right areas, try not to burn through it now, and try and make sure we’re using appropriate gear that the CDC says we can use to take care of patients like this.” STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • Starting tomorrow, low income, elderly and disabled residents of Georgia will be able to get help with utilities. You can apply through the Division of Family and Children Service’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance program. Those who qualify will receive between $350 to $400 to use for utilities. There is an income requirement and those interested will have to provide several documents. For more information click here . STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • A large tree fell through an elderly couples home during severe weather in Fleming Island on Tuesday. Neighbors say they heard a heard crunch during the high winds. Neighbors also say the couple was not hurt, just shaken up. This a picture of the master bathroom, according to a neighbor. He said the elderly man and woman who live at the home were on the backside of the house when the tree came crashing down. They were not hurt, just shaken up. pic.twitter.com/WYfrQnkQfb — Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) April 1, 2020
  • Small businesses impacted by coronavirus could soon get a loan for up to $100,000. Mayor Lenny Curry said Tuesday that tens of millions of dollars could be available through a partnership with Vystar Credit Union. Like virtually every other restaurant, Jacksonville Beach’s Ugly Cupcake Muffinry is empty today. Owner Ivy Wolf is gathering donations for outreach, but the actual café is closed. “Financially, how has it been?” Action News Jax Reporter Russell Colburn asked. For live updates on the coronavirus, click here . RELATED:  Florida coronavirus cases | Georgia coronavirus cases | Symptoms | How to stay healthy |  Interactive map: Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard  | Interactive Map: Coronavirus cases around the world “Dismal is probably a good word,” Wolf said. “The sales for the cafe proper are down about 95% and, unfortunately, for us staying up just for takeout is not valid.” For Wolf, this new loan could help. Vystar’s President and CEO, Brian Wolfburg, tells Action News Jax businesses can get up to $100,000 and not make a single payment in the loan’s first year. Even after, he said the city will help cover costs if certain things -- such as employee retention -- are met. To qualify, the business must be in existence for one year, in Duval County, with between two and 100 employees. “If those situations apply, and they’re struggling, they can apply for this loan for us, and we’ll get an answer back to them immediately, and they’ll have access to funds immediately,” Wolfburg said. For Wolf, and so many others, this could be the chance they need. “To be able to have the funds to know that the electric can be paid, the building can be running, and our staff is OK, that’s really -- I would sleep at night with that,” Wolf said. Wolfburg said the city is also working on a grant program to get business owners $1,000 on day one. City Council must approve the loan program. STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • A JTA bus has overturned on I-10 near Lenox Avenue. The right and center eastbound lanes of I-10 are blocked. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, only the driver was on the bus at the time of the crash. The driver was taken to a hospital, but the driver’s injuries are not serious. PER DAVID CAWTON (JTA): “At around 6:30 p.m., a JTA bus operator was headed back to Myrtle Avenue Operations Campus following the end of their route. The bus was heading East Bound on Interstate-10 by Lennox Ave during that heavy period of rain. We believe the bus hydroplaned, hit the guard rail and overturned. No passengers were on board. The driver was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The accident is under investigation.” Crash 10 EB at Lenox involving a JTA Bus...right & center lane blocked...heavy delays in the area #ANJTraffic @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/pEK9W8vZc8 — Action Traffic (@ActionTraffic) March 31, 2020 STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville is offering COVID-19 testing to all existing Mayo Clinic patients. QUICK FACTS: Results come back within 24 hours. Drive-through testing is taking place daily between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Mayo. Dr. Jane Hata with Mayo Clinic said the goal is to process and test 1,000 tests daily. To qualify for testing, Mayo patients must be screened by Mayo Clinic. Those approved will then be directed to the drive through location at Mayo Clinic. ​ For live updates on the coronavirus, click here . RELATED:  Florida coronavirus cases | Georgia coronavirus cases | Symptoms | How to stay healthy |  Interactive map: Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard  | Interactive Map: Coronavirus cases around the world STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • Action News Jax obtained a report from the emergency managers in Jacksonville that shows three residents at a local assisted-living facility have died from COVID-19. Action News Jax reported last week at least seven patients at the Camellia at Deerwood Facility tested positive for coronavirus. According to the report from last week, 11 people at this facility were tested, including patients and workers. For live updates on the coronavirus, click here . RELATED:  Florida coronavirus cases | Georgia coronavirus cases | Symptoms | How to stay healthy |  Interactive map: Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard  | Interactive Map: Coronavirus cases around the world Four people have died in Duval County from the Coronavirus outbreak – three of them were men from Camellia at Deerwood on the Southside. All three of the victims were in their 80s. The outbreak led Dave Eggers to pull his 83-year-old mother from the facility last week. “That evening was tense to say the least, and we were nervous, hopeful that we could get her out, so we just stayed our distance and I just told my mom, ‘Look, if you were exposed, I don’t want to get the rest of my family exposed, so we’re just going to keep you in isolation,” he said. This week, the facility’s senior executive director sent out an email to residents and staff saying, “The Florida Department of Health is still processing the large volume of tests completed for residents and associates.” STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • Action News Jax anchor John Bachman interviewed Dr. Saumil Oza, chief of cardiology with St. Vincent’s and Ascension Medical Group. He and other health professionals are now recommending that everyone wear masks in public. Dr. Oza said that early on there was a concern people would rush out and buy surgical masks, depleting the supply for health care workers. Now the concern is that masks would create a false sense of security. But he says if we keep social distancing, washing our hands and isolating... and wear masks in public on top of that, they can help. Here is a link with information on how make a DIY face mask: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/ For live updates on the coronavirus, click here . RELATED:  Florida coronavirus cases | Georgia coronavirus cases | Symptoms | How to stay healthy |  Interactive map: Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard  | Interactive Map: Coronavirus cases around the world STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories
  • A Clay County mom is now playing the part of both parent and teacher while children are home from school and learning online. On Tuesday, social distance learning started for Clay County students. Shannon Hube is a home economics teacher at Lakeside Junior High School. She is also a mother of five kids -- four of her boys are enrolled in Clay County schools. She is balancing teaching her students, while also making sure her kids do their online classwork. She said any parents at home who are overwhelmed, know that the teachers are here for you. Parents who have not signed their children up for a laptop should register , and can find planning and distance learning resources on the district’s website . For live updates on the coronavirus, click here . RELATED:  Florida coronavirus cases | Georgia coronavirus cases | Symptoms | How to stay healthy |  Interactive map: Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard  | Interactive Map: Coronavirus cases around the world STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories

The Latest News Headlines

  • Nearly 860,000 people worldwide -- including more than 189,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, April 1, continue below: US coronavirus deaths hit 4,076, total cases top 189K Update 12:31 a.m. EDT April 1: By early Wednesday morning, the number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States neared 200,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 189,510 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 4,076 deaths. U.S. cases now outnumber those in any other nation by wide margins, including the 105,792 reported in Italy and the 95,923 confirmed in Spain. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 1,550 – or nearly half of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 267 in New Jersey and 259 in Michigan.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 75,795 confirmed cases – or roughly four times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 18,696 and Michigan with 7,615. Three other states have now confirmed at least 6,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 6,932, including 150 deaths • Florida: 6,732, including 84 deaths • Massachusetts: 6,220, including 89 deaths Meanwhile, Illinois, Louisiana and Washington state each has confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus infections; Pennsylvania and Georgia each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Texas and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s complete state-by-state breakdown.
  • Ahead of an approaching cold front, Northeast Florida saw a line of strong storms roll through. Some of those storms prompted severe thunderstorm warnings and a few tornado warnings from the National Weather Service of Jacksonville. The NWS does believe an EF-0 tornado did touch during in northern St. Johns County on Tuesday evening. At this time, WOKV has not received any reports of injuries, but there have been reports of damage and downed trees.
  • Following the recent passage of a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus measure to help families and businesses with the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is breaking down some of the finer details. Howard says adults making up to $75,000 a year will get a $1,200 check, while a married couple making up to $150,000 will get $2,400, with $500 payments per child.  STORY: Are you getting a stimulus check; how much will it be? Use this calculator to find out However, Howard says that $500 payment doesn't include every child.  'You will not get money for your teenager. So, once your teenager goes past 16, they're out of the picture for the $500,' explains Howard.  Howard says this $500 payment also does not apply to other types of dependents, like if you're an adult taking care of your elderly parents.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is working hard to make sure people throughout the state who are unemployed are getting the assistance they need during the coronavirus pandemic. That means hiring more staff members to help people who are trying to apply for unemployment benefits. Executive Director Ken Lawson signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor over the weekend to execute the CARES Act in Florida. Lawson says his staff is working hard to implement those resources to Floridians as soon as possible. The week before most businesses closed due to government orders, the Department of Economic Opportunity received 28,000 calls. Last week in just four days, they received 130,000 calls. That higher volume of calls is overwhelming the staff, but it looks like help is on the way. Anyone who calls right now should expect to wait on hold for upwards of an hour, but hopefully that wait time starts dropping soon. The Department of Economic Opportunity is hiring 100 people statewide to answer calls, walk people through the application process, and handle processing applications. Florida residents eligible for reemployment assistance include people quarantined by a medical professional or government agency, people who have been laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period of time or people caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with coronavirus. Any Floridian whose employment has been negatively impacted by the virus can get more information here.
  • Isolation and fear during the coronavirus pandemic can create the perfect storm for domestic abuse. Some experts say victims are like prisoners in their own homes during quarantine.  “We’re talking about a horrible situation. People who normally might be able to call us, reach out to us, stop at our outreach center or go to work and look online to find how they can get help are prisoners in their own home,” Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin, EdD, LCSW, said.  Anyone who needs help and can safely get away from their abuser is asked to call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or Hubbard House in Jacksonville at (904) 354-3114.

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