The news you need to know
Start your Monday morning with the news:
Weekly COVID Update
On Friday, the state reported 605 new deaths from COVID-19, up from 470 the previous week.
The number of new cases fell for the first time in more than a month from 430,297 the previous week to 289,204 last week, according to the Florida Department of Health. The statewide positivity rate for new infections also fell from 29.3% to 26.3%.
The state now has a total of 5,280,903 coronavirus cases. The COVID-19 death toll is 63,763.
Good news for Florida's economy
The state's Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday announced December's jobless rate was down to 4.4% from 4.5% in November. The December rate represented 466,000 Floridians qualifying as jobless from a workforce now at 10.66 million. Officials say the decrease, albeit small, shows "steady growth" for the state's economy. And speaking of the economy, experts estimate the state will collect nearly $4 billion more in general-revenue taxes than had been expected over two years.
Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed his own version of a new congressional voting map for the state which eliminates two of the state's majority Black voting districts. WFSU's Valerie Crowder spoke with NPR about the controversy.
How accurate is a rapid COVID test?
Researchers are working fast to figure out how to improve rapid COVID tests including people like Dr. Wilbur Lam, a professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering at Emory University and one of the lead investigators assessing COVID-19 diagnostic tests for the federal government. Read more from NPR here.