🌱 Tampa Drive-Thru Testing Site Opens Tuesday + DeSantis Spotted

·3 min read

Happy Monday, Tampa! Let's get you all caught up on what's happening locally to start today off on an informed note.

First, today's weather:

Cooler; breezy in the morning. High: 64 Low: 50.

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Here are the top five stories in Tampa today:

1. Florida kids younger than 5 years old may be able to receive their first shot in the first half of 2022 following Pfizer's timeline, according to Forbes. Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to submit an application for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine under 5-year-olds in the first half of 2022. (Florida Patch)

2. The City of Tampa said it is planning to open a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on Tuesday as demand surges from residents. City officials said the city is currently testing between 3,000 and 5,000 people per day. People are arriving early to testing sites and waiting in long lines to get tested. (WFLA)

3. A bill recently filed in the Florida House would bring law enforcement agencies in to help hospitals identify unidentified patients and allow social workers to make decisions about patient care. Data shared would include fingerprints, palm prints, and facial images. Hospitals have been blocked by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 so far in this endeavor, meant to prevent hospitals from accessing people's private medical information. (Florida Politics)

4. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at a public event in South Florida on New Year’s Eve at Miami Baptist Church in West Kendall. He did not address the current COVID-19 surge and a reporter was blocked from asking him questions. (WPLG Local 10)

5. An America’s Auction Channel employee and her boyfriend have been accused of pawning over $100,000 in jewelry from the company. Monique Bigelow and Reco Wallace were arrested and booked on December 27th. They each face a charge of scheme to defraud and are being held on $100,000 bonds. (Tampa Bay Times)

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Today in Tampa:

  • "New Years Expressions" By TESA (Art Show) at Carrollwood Cultural Center. (9:00 AM)

  • Family Story Times With Hillsborough County Public Library. Multiple locations. (10:00 AM)

  • More Than Basic: Drawing Workshop For Kids at Firehouse Cultural Center. (1:30 PM)

  • Mayweather Boxing HIIT Class at Armature Works. (6:00 PM)

From my notebook:

  • Five of the 10 cities that experienced the biggest jumps in median one-bedroom rent year-over-year are from the Sunshine State, including the top three — Miami, Tampa, and Orlando. (The Real Deal)

  • Join City of Tampa for its next Climate Action & Equity Plan listening session in partnership with The CLEO Institute on Saturday, January 22nd at 2 p.m. at the George Bartholomew Center. (Facebook)

  • The events surrounding Ken Welch's swearing in have been postponed due to COVID-19. (Bay News 9)

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You're officially in the loop for today! See you tomorrow for your next update.

Carlos Hernandez

About me: Hello my name is Carlos Hernandez and I am a food writer with over 10 years of experience in the industry. I write the food blog Carlos Eats (http://www.carloseats.com) and also contribute to several newspapers and magazines with food-related blogs and articles.

This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch

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