Working around the threat of COVID-19

The spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) — and efforts to stay out of harm’s way  — have sparked creativity and ingenuity across The Laker/Lutz News region. When plans to celebrate Kynlee Kuberski’s 11th birthday at Universal Studios were canceled because of COVID-19, dozens of people came by her Connerton home, to wish her a happy birthday. They came on foot, on bikes, in cars … [Read more...]

Coping with uncertainties

As concerns ratchet up regarding the health and economic threats posed by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), a licensed mental health counselor from Wesley Chapel offers some suggestions to help cope with the additional pressures. “People’s lives go through various ups and downs, and the same is true of our human existence. “The world also goes through up and downs,” said Shabana Churruca, … [Read more...]

Stepping up to help

Whether it’s sewing protective masks, printing free coloring books, holding prayer services, giving away pizzas or providing pallets of food — people across The Laker/Lutz News are stepping up to help others, in response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Linda Mitchell, of the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club, has organized a group of seamstresses who are using their … [Read more...]

Numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths climb

The numbers keep climbing. There were a total of 140,904 cases and a total of 2,405 deaths as of the evening of March 30, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas and the U.S. Virgin Islands have reported cases. “The United States nationally is in the acceleration phase of the pandemic,” the CDC … [Read more...]

Charities hit hard

It was a gorgeous day on March 7, as patrons streamed into the annual Fabulous Flea Market  hosted by the GFWC Lutz Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club, at the Old Lutz School. Crowds were lined up on both sides of the school, on U.S. 41, waiting for the sale to start. Elaine Pittman, affectionately known as “The Plant Lady,” said she sold more plants in a single day than on all but one other day … [Read more...]

Government responds to COVID-19

A $2 trillion relief package — the largest in U.S. history — has been passed in an attempt to stabilize the economy, in the wake of an economic and medical crisis posed by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). The package includes help for individuals, unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses, help for large industries and other types of assistance. The stimulus includes a $1,200 … [Read more...]

Local businesses getting hit with COVID-19 impacts

Drive around the region and the impacts of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are obvious. Grocery store parking lots are full — with people lining up before the stores open to get their hands on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other scarce items. There’s less traffic on the road because many people are working remotely, and that number may climb if ‘stay at home’ mandates are … [Read more...]

Hospital visitation limited, elective surgeries canceled

Hospitals across the region are limiting visitors and canceling elective surgeries, as they ramp up preparations to treat increasing cases of people infected by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). As of 11 a.m. on March 23, The Florida Department of Health reported 1,096 confirmed cases of Florida residents and 75 cases of non-Florida residents, for a total of 1,171. Of those, 73 involved … [Read more...]

Floridians choose Trump, Biden in preference primary

Floridians went to the polls in the midst of a coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — causing some disruptions, and requiring poll workers and election officials to take special precautions. Lester and Bettie Coupland, both 84, wore surgical masks to their polling place at Pasco County’s Precinct 3, at Pasco-Hernando State College in Dade City. Both favored Bernie Sanders. Bettie … [Read more...]

Public schools to go back in session — remotely

Florida students in kindergarten through 12th grades will remain off school campuses until at least April 15 because of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While students will remain off campus, they will receive some type of online or remote instruction beginning at the end of March, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Superintendent Kurt Browning provided a March 22 … [Read more...]