Weekly Roundup: April 20-24

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Friday, April 24

26 MILLION HAVE SOUGHT U.S. JOBLESS AID DURING PANDEMIC

More than 4.4 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as job cuts escalated, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. In the last five weeks, about 26 million people have filed for jobless aid, the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in U.S. history. “Today’s unemployment report shows continued, elevated unemployment claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said Thursday in a released statement. “The Department of Labor is continuing to provide guidance and support to the states as they implement the enhanced unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, with 44 States now paying the $600 additional weekly benefit provided by the Act. The Department also continues to implement the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and has now initiated hundreds of cases to ensure workers receive what they’re entitled to under the law.” 
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

Thursday, April 23

FIRST PHASE OF REOPENING LEE COUNTY PARKS, PRESERVES IN SLOW PROCESS

While walking trails and more than 20 county parks in Lee County reopened again Wednesday, county commissioners are looking to the governor’s new task force to see what comes next. Opening trails at parks and preserves is the definition of a slow reopening – exactly how Commissioner Frank Mann wants it. “It’s a matter of life and death and we’re going to be very careful before we bring crowds back together,” Mann said. Commissioners plan to wait for the governor’s task force to make its recommendations, which are due Friday. Commission Chairman Brian Hamman said he wants to reopen businesses as soon as possible – as long as it’s safe. “We just need to start talking about how can we get people back to work safely because every job is essential to the person that needs that paycheck,” Hamman said. Mann said testing is the key, which is why it’s important to reopen slowly. To see a list of which parks and preserves will reopen, click hereStory reported by WINK News.
 

Wednesday, April 22

LEE COUNTY OFFICIALS REOPEN PARKS, OTHER PUBLIC SPACES

Lee County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to reopen some parks and preserve trails, effective today. The parks will be open and park rangers will be patrolling, but bathrooms, playgrounds and visitor centers will remain closed. Visitors still must practice social distancing when inside the parks and on trails. “Mental health is huge right now and we know that people could go and walk through a Publix or a home improvement store right now I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t also walk through a several thousand-acre big park,” said Lee County Commission Chairman Brian Hamman. For a list of parks open now, see the story reported by WINK News.
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

Tuesday, April 21

DOCTORS WANT PLASMA OF RECOVERED COVID-19 PATIENTS

A cutting-edge treatment program against the coronavirus began Monday in Southwest Florida. If you had the coronavirus and recovered, Lee Health and NCH would like you to donate plasma to help other COVID-19 patients recover sooner. There’s no guarantee but doctors say it has worked to treat other viruses such as the swine flu in the past. If it works, the antibodies someone forms when they’re sick can be used to attack the virus in someone else. If you had the virus and want to donate plasma, you must be fully recovered and symptom-free for at least 14 days. For more information about the program, visit the Lee Health website here. To donate your plasma, visit the NCH blood donation website hereStory reported by WINK News.
 

Monday, April 20

BSU RELEASES ANNUAL OPERATIONS, DRINKING WATER QUALITY REPORTS

Bonita Springs Utilities Inc.’s 2019 annual report and drinking water quality report are available online here. “The 2019 annual report provides an overview of the utility’s operations and activities. Highlights include a $3.26 million capital credit payment to our members, upgrades to our water and wastewater facilities, conservation efforts and the utility’s financial report,” said John R. Jenkins, BSU executive director. “The drinking water quality report provides specific information on where our water comes, raw water constituents and our water treatment processes.” BSU members will receive a copy of the annual report by mail in April. Both the annual report and drinking water quality report are available online year-round. During 2019, BSU produced more than 3.64 billion gallons of potable water, treated 1.7 billion gallons of wastewater, and experienced peak day water production of more than 13.97 million gallons.

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