City of Pensacola

Urging residents to put on a face mask to protect against coronavirus took up a good part of Mayor Grover Robinson’s weekly virtual news conference on Monday.

“If there wasn’t an election going on, I don’t think we would have any problems with masks,” said Robinson. “The science clearly shows we should be wearing masks, and it’s unfortunate that, for some reason, we’ve got to make this a debatable situation.”

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, July 12

Florida Sets New Record 

Test results for more than 142,900 individuals were reported to DOH as of midnight, on Saturday, July 11. Today, as reported at 11 a.m., there are:

  • 15,300 new positive COVID-19 cases (15,135 Florida residents and 165 non-Florida residents)
  • 45 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19


There are a total of 266,119 positive cases in Florida residents and 3,692 positive cases in non-Florida residents.

Escambia County officials went online [Friday], tackling subjects ranging from COVID-19 concerns within county agencies, to mask usage, to a new method to crunch the coronavirus numbers.

County Administrator Janice Gilley hosted the virtual news conference—her first meeting with the media since April. She was asked why the county isn’t making face coverings mandatory for its workforce.

Escambia Co. School District

As COVID-19 outbreaks spike in Florida, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is ordering public schools to reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to students and families.

Under the emergency order, Corcoran said all public schools will be required to reopen next month for at least five days a week, and provide the full menu of services required by law, including in-person instruction and services for students with special needs.

Courtesy Photo

Timothy Hendrix said he was the “biggest nonbeliever” in the hysteria around COVID-19. 

That is, until the virus took the life of his non-biological son, 24-year-old Davon Hill.

Davon died from COVID-19 at Santa Rosa Medical Center on Thursday. Reports of the Milton man’s death had been made by local stations without naming Hill. 

After reading online comments, Timothy shared a public post on his Facebook page to tell Davon’s story and to tell other nonbelievers that COVID-19 is very much a real threat. 

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, July 5

38 Escambia inmates test positive

From Escambia County:

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Media

At the height of the summer tourist season, Florida’s largest cities and counties are closing beaches, ordering masks to be worn, and stopping business reopenings because of a jump in coronavirus.

“When we saw those first 9,000 cases pop up at the end of last week, that was a warning sign or red flag to a lot of us that we were sort of already at that point of its gotten worse,” said Dr. Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist and medical professor at the University of Florida.

And she’s warning that things, in fact, are likely to get worse before they get better.

City of Pensacola

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson used much of his weekly virtual news conference Monday, to elaborate on his decision to make face coverings mandatory in businesses inside the city proper.

On Friday, the mayor issued state of emergency 20-03, which requires both staff and customers to wear a mask.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, June 28

Here is what Gulf Breeze residents need to know

The Santa Rosa County office of public information issued the follow items from Gulf Breeze:

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Escambia County, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson has declared a state of emergency in the city and, as of 5 p.m. Friday, all employees and patrons on any business in the city will be required to wear a face mask.  

U.S. Navy

Having enrolled more than 300 people for an expanded Meals on Wheels program the past two weeks in EscaRosa, there’s now a call for more volunteers to deliver them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the need for hundreds of additional meals, says Will Wirth, program manager at the Council on Aging of West Florida. But it’s not the sole reason for the jump – enter a partnership between COA and Primal Nosh.

Gilbert Mercier/Flickr

Gov. Ron DeSantis is again rejecting the notion of a statewide mandatory use of face masks to protect against the coronavirus – despite a massive increase in such cases.

For the fifth time in six days, Florida has topped the 3,000 mark in new COVID-19 cases.  As of Wednesday, Escambia County recorded a massive jump overnight, increasing 88 positive cases for a total of 1,312. Santa Rosa increased 16 cases, bringing its total to 371.

Last Friday, The University Of West Florida Board Of Trustees approved a draft plan to reopen the school to students in the fall. That plan was approved by the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday.

“I’ll ask for a motion to approve the University of West Florida reopening plan for Fall of 2020,” said UWF Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Cleveland during a virtual board meeting on Friday morning, asking for board approval of the university’s draft plans to reopen in the Fall. The plan was unanimously approved.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, June 21

State reports 17 more deaths; 3,494 new cases

From the state Department of Health:

Today, as reported at 10 a.m. Central, there are:

  • 3,494 new positive COVID-19 cases (3,469 Florida residents and 25 non-Florida residents)
  • 17 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19

There are a total of 97,291 Florida cases with 3,161 deaths related to COVID-19.

Dave Palmer/Courtesy Photo

COVID-19 and self-quarantine have forced a lot of us to learn to cook these past few months. 

Since the quarantine, top search trends online have been about cooking. Even as recent as this week, there was an increase of people searching how to cook Bagel Bites.  

But Paxton chef Dave Palmer says cooking doesn’t have to be so intimidating.