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The news you need to know

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Here's your morning news briefing for Monday, Feb. 28

Weekly COVID Update
According to the weekly report from the Florida Department of Health, 25,640 new positive tests were reported in the week ending Thursday, bringing the total to 5,800,561.

The positivity rate for new cases continues declining, coming in at 5.6%, down from 8.2% a week earlier.

The state reported 69,790 people have died from COVID-19, an increase of 888 for the week.

As of Friday, 3,358 people are hospitalized statewide with the coronavirus. That's down more than 27% from a week earlier.

Preserving history
Santa Rosa County has received an $800,000 grant to build a “Living Shoreline” and protect historical sites at Floridatown Park along Escambia Bay in Pace. Protecting Floridatown Park is about more than just protecting the natural shoreline; it's about preserving the history and legacy of the Mvskoke (Muscogee) or Creek Native Americans.

Blue alerts
Remember that phone alert you got last week? The Blue Alert is one of the lesser common public safety alerts, but an important one to know. Dave Dunwoody talked to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about the alert.

State news
Monthly fees for renters
Landlords in Florida may soon be allowed to charge monthly, nonrefundable fees to tenants instead of a security deposit. The House has approved a bill that would give renters the option of avoiding a down payment they may not be able to afford.

COVID liability protections
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a measure that extends COVID liability protections for healthcare providers such as hospitals and nursing homes. Under the bill, the protections first put in place last year will continue through June of 2023. But some lawmakers worry the provisions are too broad.

From NPR's newsroom

Photos: Ukraine fights back Russian forces after invasion
The wide-scale invasion of Ukraine has dramatically changed the mood in Kyiv, the capital, as a nation woke up on Feb. 24 to war. These pictures show the realities the people of Ukraine are facing.

Reflecting on the power of affirmations for Black History Month
On the last day of Black History Month, an intimate photo series sharing the affirmations of a handful of Black men and women.