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Christopher O'Donnell - Health and Medicine Reporter

Health and Medicine Reporter

I’m a political junkie and I love literature so this job fits like a glove. But journalism wasn’t my first career. I was born and grew up in England and programmed computers for a living. I switched to reporting when I moved to Florida in 2001. I got my first break at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after earning a journalism degree from the University of South Florida. I joined the Tampa Bay Times in 2016 after a three-year stint at the Tampa Tribune, where I covered city halls on both sides of Tampa Bay. When I’m not shouting at cable news, I love watching real football from England (alright, soccer) and riding my road bike on trails.

  1. The state reported 289,204 COVID-19 cases from Jan. 14-20 in the weekly report released Friday.
  2. Tampa General Hospital conducts more than 1,000 transplants a year, a life-changing procedure but one which leaves donor organ recipients immunocompromised and thus vulnerable to COVID-19. It is one of the first hospitals in Florida using Evusheld, a drug intended to prevent at-risk patients including transplant recipients and cancer patients from catching the virus.
  3. Workers register and test patients on Monday at the public drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Hillsborough Community College’s Brandon campus.
  4. Margarita Schneider, de 24 años, de Tampa, mira mientras espera en el sitio de prueba de Covid en Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave, el viernes 7 de enero de 2022 en Tampa. El estado informa números récord de infecciones de Covid principalmente debido a la ola actual de la variante Omicron. Los sitios de prueba también han visto un repunte. Schneider, que estaba a la mitad de la fila, había estado esperando unos 35 minutos, dijo. “Me gusta que haya una línea. Significa que la gente está tomando precauciones”, dijo Schneider. “Quiero estar seguro y saber que estoy bien antes de ir a los clubes y antes de ver a mi familia este fin de semana”.
  5. People line up on Jan. 7 to get tested for COVID-19 at the public testing site at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. The omicron variant is driving unprecedented infection rates across Florida, and has changed the guidance for how to stay safe during the pandemic.
  6. Florida representó una de cada 10 infecciones en los EE. UU. la semana pasada y tuvo la séptima tasa más alta de infección per cápita, según los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades.
  7. La gente hace fila para entrar al sitio de prueba de Covid en Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave, el viernes 7 de enero de 2022 en Tampa. El estado viene observando un número récord de infecciones de Covid principalmente debido a la ola actual de la variante Omicron. Los sitios de prueba también han visto un repunte.
  8. People line up Friday to get tested for COVID-19 at the public testing site at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. The state averaged nearly 57,000 COVID-19 infections a day from Dec. 31 to Thursday, according to the weekly report released Friday. The omicron variant is driving the highest weekly infection rate thus far during the 22-month pandemic.
  9. Registered nurse Nvard Termendzhyan pauses for a moment while helping Linda Calderon, a 71-year-old COVID-19 patient, sit up on her bed at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles. COVID daily hospital admissions rose in Florida by 290 percent over the past two weeks.
  10. Travelers wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Monday. Demand for testing in Florida has soared in the past two weeks. with more than 100,000 tests reported to the federal government in just one week.
  11. Masked and unmasked shoppers enter a Best Buy store as it opens Nov. 26 for Black Friday sales in Fort Lauderdale.
  12. Weekend store hours were changed with Christmas 2021 falling on a Saturday. Some retailers were open most of the day Friday and planned to reopen as normal on Sunday.
  13. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced on Nov. 4 that his office launched a criminal investigation into Eckerd Connects Community Alternatives, the agency that runs foster care in Pinellas and Pasco counties. The nonprofit lost its state contract to provide child welfare services in Pinellas and Pasco counties and will be out by year's end.
  14. Jenn Petion, president and chief executive officer of Family Support Services of North Florida, which is taking over child welfare services in Pinellas and Pasco counties on Jan. 1.
  15. The bungalow style homes that make up the historic village of St. Petersburg's historic Jordan Park public housing complex are set to undergo demolition in January to make way for a $93 million redevelopment project that was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  16. Meridian Apartments en N 50th Street en Tampa es uno de los aproximadamente 100 complejos de apartamentos que participaron en el programa de viviendas múltiples libres de crimen del Departamento de Policía de Tampa. El departamento está reemplazando el programa y ya no informará a los propietarios sobre los arrestos de sus inquilinos.
  17. Meridian Apartments on N 50th Street in Tampa is one of about 100 apartment complexes that participated in the Tampa Police Department's Crime-Free Multi Housing program. The department is replacing the program and will no longer inform landlords about the arrests of their tenants.
  18. Meridian Apartments on N 50th Street in Tampa is one of about 100 apartment complexes that participated in Tampa Police Department's Crime-Free Multi Housing program.
  19. Jonathan Pagliarulo, 11, gets tested for COVID-19 in August after vaccinated family members tested positive for the virus in North Miami.
  20. A grand jury has indicted a former stevedore operations manager and five others, alleging they ran a scheme in which they shared paychecks given to "ghost workers." Roughly $113,000 was stolen over four years, according to the indictment filed in a federal court in Tampa.
  21. The Florida Department of Children and Families is planning to appoint a new agency to run child welfare in Pinellas and Pasco counties. Some child welfare experts fear it is rushing the decision.
  22. Land O' Lakes resident Nathan Garcia, 5, gets his COVID-19 shot Friday. Almost 45,000 Florida children ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated so far.
  23. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced on Nov. 4 that his office launched a criminal investigation into Eckerd Connects Community Alternatives, the agency that runs foster care in Pinellas and Pasco counties. Recent accidents and incidents reported from Eckerd’s offices shown here at 8550 Ulmerton Road in Largo, raised alarms about the level of care and supervision at the makeshift accommodation, the sheriff said. It comes just four days after the Florida Department of Children and Families announced that it will not renew the Clearwater nonprofit's $80 million contract. Eckerd Connects says it will also leave its Hillsborough County contract in 2022.