Pasco Man Surprised To See Florida Announce His Coronavirus Death

LAND O' LAKES, FL — Despite the Florida Department of Health reporting his death Friday, 46-year-old Land O' Lakes resident Gene Della Sala, the first Pasco County resident to test positive for the coronavirus, said he's feeling "90 percent better." "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," he told Patch lightly, using Star Trek character Capt. Jean Luc Picard's adaptation of the famous Mark Twain quote.
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Patch's Local Coverage Of The Coronavirus Pandemic


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Robert Speski, Evergreen Park IL

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Libby Miller, Canton GA

Bama AD Byrne Tells Finebaum Of Coronavirus Experience

TUSCALOOSA, AL — University of Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne spoke with the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum during his show Thursday afternoon, where he discussed testing positive for the novel coronavirus and the experience with the symptoms. Byrne reportedly tested positive on Oct. 14 — the same day Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban also received an alleged false-positive. While Saban would remain asymptomatic and eventually test negative in the three days following his positive test

Illinois Cannabis Industry Deemed 'Essential' During Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Illinois marijuana businesses are exempt from Gov. JB Pritzker's "stay at home" executive order to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. The order limits non-essential activities, banning public gatherings of more than 10 people and mandating social distancing. The order, which takes effect Saturday afternoon, requires all businesses, other than those deemed essential, to stop all but minimum basic operations — allowing employees to keep working from home and maintaining the securit

Coronavirus Inspires Bowie Priest To Offer Drive-Thru Confessions

BOWIE, MD — The Rev. Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Bowie was facing a dilemma. All public Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington had been suspended effective Saturday in response to the spread of the new coronavirus. Holmer was at his church Saturday knowing that the evening's Mass had been canceled — waiting, as usual, for the 4 p.m. weekly confessions to begin. They, too, had been suspended, but some parishioners who came every week to have their confessions hea

'Where's Your F---Ing Mask?': Asian Man Harassed In Forest Hills

FOREST HILLS, QUEENS — An Asian man in Forest Hills says he was harassed while bringing his son to school Thursday morning by a man clad in camouflage who shouted, "Where is your f---ing mask?" and tried to attack him. The man — who asked to be identified only by his first name, Jeff, to protect his family — told Patch he was bringing his son to a school bus stop on Yellowstone Boulevard when the man started cursing at him and tried to hit him in the head. "Where's your f---ing mask, you Chine

Westchester Puts Out Call For Nurses During Coronavirus Outbreak

WHITE PLAINS, NY — With an increasing number of cases of the new coronavirus, Westchester County is putting out a call for nurses. Westchester County Executive George Latimer is calling on all available New York State licensed nurses to step forward and once again work in service of their neighbors. The call applies to retired or currently non-working nurses in this time of great need, he said. Latimer said that the reality is that the county doesn't have enough nurses to meet the current de

Dozens Volunteer To Help Mercer Island Seniors During Coronavirus

MERCER ISLAND, WA — A grassroots effort to aid Mercer Island's most vulnerable residents is already dozens strong after volunteers rushed to answer the call for help amid the growing coronavirus outbreak in Washington. Debby Wilson —a tech executive, and mother of two — lept into action as confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew exponentially in King County this month. According to state health officials, people above the age of 60, and those with pre-existing health conditions, are at a significantl

New Parents Start Cafe In Hoboken, Then Struggle Amid Coronavirus

HOBOKEN, NJ -- Jess and Jeff Dyer of Hoboken have an 11-month-old baby, a 6-month-old small business, and big worries because people in their city have been staying home amid the coronavirus crisis. "We're definitely worried, because it's our only source of income," said Jess, an artist, on Monday night. The pair opened their small coffee shop, "Joey No Nuts," on Oct. 1 in a cozy 450-square-foot sliver of retail space on a corner. The shop has a niche because it's entirely nut free, so people w

Coronavirus Test Made By Abbott Labs Wins Emergency FDA Approval

NORTH CHICAGO, IL — Abbot Laboratories announced it has begun sending 150,000 newly approved tests for the new coronavirus to hospitals and medical centers across the country. The North Chicago-based medical device maker issued a statement Wednesday saying it has received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new molecular test to identify SARS-CoV-2, the novel strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. "A global challenge like coronavirus requires

Drive-By Birthday Party For Girl, 5, Makes Her Day

ELGIN, IL — In an age of social distancing, a child's birthday party takes on a host of problems far beyond picking out a cake and a party theme. For Jennifer Schneff Williamson of Elgin, she knew she'd have to cancel her daughter's in-person birthday party with family and neighbors, which had been scheduled for Friday. She couldn't have Olivia's grandparents and others at the planned gathering at her house considering fears over the spread of the coronavirus. At first, she said, her daughter d

Occupied Lakewood Yeshiva, Weddings Amid Coronavirus Spark Anger

LAKEWOOD, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy had ordered to close all schools amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus, police said. But there were still students at a Lakewood yeshiva this week in an apparent defiance of the order, many of whom were eventually sent home. And that's not the only time members of the community allegedly violated the state's new orders connected to the coronavirus outbreak this week, police said. At least two summonses have been issued and the department has responded to 17 c

How Are Illinois Restaurant Workers Doing? 'Absolutely Terrible'

CHICAGO, IL — For bar and restaurant workers, Tuesday was a St. Patrick's Day massacre. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order forcing more than 25,000 restaurants and bars statewide that employ about 474,500 people to shut down in-house service for two weeks in attempt to stem the spread of the new coronavirus started Tuesday. "This is a f------ disaster," said chef Kevin Hickey, owner of Duck Inn. "We're on Day 1 looking down the barrel at little to no income, scrambling to try to set up food delivery an

Miami Area Hotels To Shut Down Over Coronavirus

MIAMI BEACH, FL — All hotels and short-term rental properties n the city of Miami Beach have been ordered to shut down no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday in a further attempt to stem the community spread of the new coronavirus in Miami-Dade County. "Our hotels have always been the lifeblood of our economy, so shuttering them is not something to do impulsively," explained Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. "But right now, as painful as it may be, the reality is we just cannot be a tourist destination."

Regeneron Working On Coronavirus Vaccine In Hudson Valley

TARRYTOWN, NY — With the news Friday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordering all the state's non-essential workers to stay home beginning Monday, one company in the Hudson Valley will be toiling away to help fight the new coronavirus outbreak increasing around the United States and the rest of the world. Employees of Regeneron, both in the labs and manufacturing facilities where medicines are made, are considered essential workers and are exempt from the governor's order. Technically they are covered b

Theme Parks Rethink Reopenings Amid Statewide Stay-Home Order

BUENA PARK, CA — The operators of Knott's Berry Farm said Friday that the amusement park would stay closed until at least mid-May due to the coronavirus, extending the timeline of a previously announced closure for the rest of this month. "As we continue to follow regional and national health directives related to COVID-19, we want to provide the latest update regarding our park schedule. Currently, Knott's Berry Farm, Knott's Berry Farm Hotel, and California Marketplace are temporarily closed.

Pasco Man Surprised To See Florida Announce His Coronavirus Death

LAND O' LAKES, FL — Despite the Florida Department of Health reporting his death Friday, 46-year-old Land O' Lakes resident Gene Della Sala, the first Pasco County resident to test positive for the coronavirus, said he's feeling "90 percent better." "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," he told Patch lightly, using Star Trek character Capt. Jean Luc Picard's adaptation of the famous Mark Twain quote.

Coronavirus Closure Puts NYC Restaurants And Economy In Peril

NEW YORK CITY — Keavy Landreth's decision to temporarily lay off the staff of her Crown Heights bakery Butter & Scotch was only made harder when one worker told her that the city's unemployment office was too busy to take their call. "Pretty much half the city was unemployed as of this morning," Landreth said, referencing the tri-state ban forcing New York City bars and restaurants to close their doors, starting at 8 p.m. Monday night. "It seems things change hour by hour," Landreth said. "We'

Photos: How Coronavirus Has Changed New York City

NEW YORK CITY — The lights turned off on Broadway. The snaking lines of hungry workers disappeared from in front of the food carts. The subways emptied. The schools shut down and restaurants and bars are about to close. In short, the new coronavirus arrived in New York City. While not even the threat of a global pandemic has stopped New Yorkers from contributing to their city, it has irrevocably changed it. Here are just a few moments created by the oncoming virus and the city's efforts to stop

Coronavirus In New Rochelle: Life At The Epicenter

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — At the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak in New York, an unsettling quiet hovers over a usually bustling Hudson Valley community filled with people darting in and out of shops and doctors' offices and mothers pushing strollers on the sidewalks. It stands to become even more quiet Thursday with the beginning of a mile-wide containment zone centered on Young Israel of New Rochelle, a Jewish synagogue at the heart of one of the country's largest cluster of COVID-19 cases.

Westfield Man With Coronavirus: I 'Argued' To Get Tested

WESTFIELD, NJ — As the town of Westfield announced this week that it has had four positive cases of the new coronavirus, Mayor Shelley Brindle shared a story from one of those residents, a 38-year-old dad who talked about how hard he had to work – and even "argued" – for days to even get tested. On Wednesday, Brindle posted the resident's story on Facebook. In a nutshell: The man got sick but didn't have all of the standard symptoms of the virus. Still, he was worried because he had an immunoco

Sick Guy On A Train And Other Scenes Of A Fearful Chicago

CHICAGO — On Monday, there was time for one last sit-down lunch in the Loop before new coronavirus closures shut down restaurants and bars for weeks, or longer. So, I took an eerily empty Metra Electric Line train downtown for a bite, hoping to gain some perspective on how devastating the threat of a pandemic has been on Chicago's thriving business district. After all, Monday was supposed to be the middle of a long period of St. Patrick's Day partying. On the ride downtown, I had a whole trai
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