A dump of months of testing results for coronavirus in Florida caused an upsurge in cases Monday, nearly doubling the number of reported cases for the day. In all about 75,000 case results dating back as far as April were entered with the majority of cases negative. The dump by Quest Diagnostics drew sharp criticism from state officials including the governor. Putnam County saw one new death, that of a 62-year-old man. According to the Florida Department of Health in Putnam, the death total is now 38 since counting began in March. Ten new cases were reported with three of those transfers. Seven were new cases, the others tied to what the state was calling “a one-time historical data submission.” Total number of cases in Putnam is now 1,770. In Flagler County 11 cases were reported including two classified as historical data. Total number of cases is 1,323. St. Johns Country reported 52 cases with 11 of those “historical data.” Total cases is now at 4,389.
Parents in Putnam County trying to get a grip on new instruction for students using the Canvas program for students online can get a little help Friday. The district will hold a Friday Family Learning Byte that gives an overview of Canvas, explains how to link a parent account and includes features for assignments, due dates and communications. You can register by using the link: bit.ly/PCSDCanvas.
In St. Augustine City Hall is open once again after a coronavirus shutdown order was not renewed Monday. That will allow the public back in the building. In addition online, telephone and email access continue. Offices will be shut again on Monday, Sept. 7, for Labor Day. Solid waste collections in St. Augustine remain on their regular schedule. In Putnam county and city offices also will be closed for Labor Day. However, in Palatka garbage routes will change since sanitation workers are getting the day off. Monday pickup will be Tuesday, Tuesday pickup is Wednesday, etc. No lawn trash pickup next week in Palatka.
Aviles Street in St. Augustine may be going the way of St. George Street, turning from the look of European charm to t-shirt and ice cream shops. The Planning and Zoning Board Tuesday granted Red Moon Properties LLC a use by exception for a special even venue and a use by exception for a cocktail lounge/tavern at 9 Aviles Street. Two years ago Red Moon was trying to get permission to demolish the building when cracks in the wall led to a decision by the city to take down the 1900 building.
A longtime attraction in St. Augustine will commemorate the traditional 1565 founding of St. Augustine this Saturday. Earlier the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine pulled the plug on their ceremonies, which are trditionally held at the Mission Nombre de Dios. Coronavirus concerns were cited. The celebration will be at Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park just down the road, according to a spokesman with the Men of Menendez reenactment corps. The ceremonies including The First Thanksgiving and a blessing will begin at 11 a.m. with a procession. The ceremony commemorates the landing of Pedro Menendez de Aviles on Sept. 8, 1565.
Flagler County School Board is looking at a proposal by faculty at Flagler Palm Cost High School that would turn Fridays into “enrichment” days with no class instruction. Students would still be required to be at their desks either in person or virtually for each period during the day but time could be used for study hall or tutoring for students and planning, grading and tutoring for teachers. Three faculty members representing 101 teachers presented the plan Monday noting the difficulty of blended classes that have both in-person students and those using the remote-live option.
If you’ve noticed activity on Intracoastal Waterway near the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Johns County, it’s a practice session. St. Johns Sheriff’s Office Marine Operations, St Johns Fire Marine Rescue, St. Augustine Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard are training in the area.
Lane closures and temporary detours continue through Thursday night on the stretch of Interstate 95 from the Flagler County line to the south of State Road 207 in St. Johns County. Nighttime lane closures are from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for paving.