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The news you need to know today

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Here's your news to start the week

Weekly COVID Update
More than 61,000 Florida residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started in early 2020, according to a report released Friday by the state Department of Health. As of Thursday, 61,081 deaths had been reported, up from 60,697 a week earlier. The Department of Health numbers also showed that 3,677,968 COVID-19 cases had been reported since the pandemic started.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services posted data Friday that showed 1,383 Florida hospital inpatients had COVID-19, including 264 in intensive-care units.

Judge refuses to block health care vaccination rule
A federal judge has quickly rejected Florida’s request to block a Biden administration requirement that workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other health-care providers be vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more here.

BBB offers advice to to boost holiday business
Based on last year’s numbers, businesses saw a nearly 27% rise in online sales during the holidays. The Better Business Bureau is out with how businesses can beef up their holiday marketing. Read their tips here.

UWF says it won’t employ professor guilty of sexual misconduct, reviewing its hiring practices
The University of West Florida confirmed Friday it will not employ next semester a former Florida State University professor who took a job there teaching after he was found guilty of sexual misconduct with students. It also said it was exploring how to overhaul its hiring practices to avoid similar issues in the future. Read more from Fresh Take Florida here.

COVID in the U.S. update: Disney's vaccine mandate, boosters, a startling death toll
The U.S. is approaching its second Thanksgiving in the COVID-19 pandemic, and cases are rising again across the county. NPR provides a snapshot of updates here.