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The news you need to know today

Here's the headlines for Monday, Dec. 20

Weekly COVID update
Florida reported its highest daily and weekly case numbers since September in its latest Florida Department of Health report.

FDOH reported 29,568 new cases of coronavirus in the week ending Thursday, bringing the state's total to 3,739,348 — more than double the 13,530 reported a week earlier, and the highest total since the week ending Sept. 30 (37,772).

The positivity rate for the week also rose from 2.6% last week to 5.4% this week.

The state's COVID-19 death toll is now 62,220, up 194 from a week earlier. The health department reported 91,841 more Floridians were vaccinated this week, down from 104,995 a week ago.

A new series: The History of Christmas
Listen this week to a three-part series from Dave Dunwoody exploring the history of Christmas. In the first part, a look at the traditions that came from a pagan festival. Read more here.

StoryCorps is coming back to Pensacola
WUWF Public Media is welcoming StoryCorpsback to the Pensacola area, starting in February. This will be the fourth time the organization has brought its Mobile Tour to the region, giving local residents another chance to record and share their stories. Read more here.

Omicron variant puts a wrench in sports league games and holidays
The omicron variant is causing deja vu for some with mask requirements back and an increase in cases. Sports leagues are even postponing games. With the holidays, here are some tips on traveling safe.

Escarosa Human Trafficking Summit
Last Friday, local organizations held a virtual conference raising awareness about human trafficking providing a look at ways to identify and prevent trafficking as well as how to help survivors. Read more here.