Lives lost from COVID-19; Florida and U.S. flags at half-staff Wednesday

United States flags blow in the wind. Credit: Getty Images.

Flags are flying half-staff Wednesday in Florida, in remembrance of lives lost from COVID-19.

Thus far, 31,135 Florida residents, and 561 non-residents, have died in the pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Health.

In honor of their memories, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed that “the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.”

“For the past year, millions of Americans have experienced great loss as loved ones succumbed to the virus and have encountered great challenges resulting from lockdowns, including harmful impacts to our economy, society, and mental health,” the memorandum states.

Hope is on the horizon, the governor says in the memorandum. “Throughout the pandemic, Florida has prioritized and protected those most vulnerable to the virus, including seniors, long-term care residents and individuals with underlying health conditions… Beginning March 3rd, K-12 school employees, sworn law enforcement officers and firefighters 50 years of age and older may also receive the vaccine.”

The full memorandum is here.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.