Diane Rado

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.

COVID cases have dipped, but FL still has more new cases than any other state

By: - September 21, 2021

At the start of September, Florida had more than 21,000 new COVID-19 cases, according to federal data, but this week, the number dropped to 6,904. That said, Florida’s figure is still the highest in the nation, according to data published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. North Carolina had the second highest […]

FL’s COVID death toll has reached the 50,000 mark; only two other states have higher numbers

By: - September 16, 2021

Florida’s COVID-19 death cases rose to the 50,000 threshold in September, illustrating the breadth of residents who died in a pandemic that continues to ravage older and younger people in the state. Only California and Texas have had higher numbers of deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The […]

DeSantis says vaccines are best tool against COVID; but how’s FL doing on the vaccination front?

By: and - August 30, 2021

Back in December, Gov. Ron DeSantis prioritized the elderly population for COVID-19 vaccines, a strategy that went against the status quo and pushed for seniors to get the shots first. Eight months later, CDC data show that 82.1 percent of Florida residents 65 and older are fully vaccinated, slightly higher than the national average. Florida […]

DeSantis spreads word on monoclonals; faces pushback from big school districts, cruise industry

By: - August 26, 2021

Amid a court battle and facing pushback from the state’s largest school districts and Florida’s massive cruise industry, Gov. Ron DeSantis continues spreading the word on monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 patients. The governor has been traversing the state, talking about the sites cropping up for treatments that can help prevent people from getting very […]

FL is still behind many other states in getting residents fully vaccinated

By: - August 12, 2021

Florida is getting close — with 49.8 percent residents fully vaccinated. But it still hasn’t gotten to the 50 percent mark, according to data from the CDC on Thursday. The nationwide figure is now 50.3 percent for fully vaccinated residents. Meanwhile, Florida lags behind 22 states and the District of Columbia, which are already at 50 […]

FL’s new COVID cases have spiked to 21,683 in one day — the highest since March 2020

By: - July 31, 2021

COVID-19 cases in Florida have reached a new milestone — 21,683 new cases in one day — the largest number since early March 2020, when Floridians had little information about the mysterious coronavirus and the disease that became COVID-19. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published the daily numbers of COVID-19 cases […]

Crist and Fried, top contenders in 2022 gubernatorial race, blast Gov. DeSantis over COVID surges

By: and - July 27, 2021

Ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial race, Florida’s top Democratic candidates are going after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over surges in COVID-19 cases. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Florida governor, on Tuesday blasted DeSantis over Florida’s spike in coronavirus cases, saying in an interview with MSNBC that “the governor’s playing Russian roulette with this issue.” […]

How many residents have been vaccinated in FL? It’s hard to tell and stats differ between FL and the CDC

By: - July 26, 2021

In a small county in North Florida called Union, 43 percent of residents aged 12 and older have been vaccinated, according to the Florida Department of Health. But data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the figure as 25.8 percent, based on residents 12 and older. Likewise, 68 percent of residents […]

FL athletes will play a big role in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

By: - July 23, 2021

California will have the largest number of athletes — 126 — at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, but Florida is second in line, with 51 athletes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, 613 athletes in 46 states will compete in the games, with the opening ceremony  on Friday and the closing event on […]

Delta variant accounts for nearly 60 percent of new COVID cases in U.S; FL cases overall are climbing

By: - July 15, 2021

The contagious Delta variant first identified in India now accounts for 57.6 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States, with high percentages in several states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show Missouri with the highest percentage of Delta variant cases, accounting for 75 percent of COVID cases. Other states with […]

CDC data: Rising COVID cases in FL top almost every state, even as vaccinations continue

By: - July 12, 2021

While states such as Missouri have been in the news over a surge of COVID-19 cases, Florida too is seeing a spike in cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The newest key indicators from the CDC show that Florida has the highest number of new COVID cases, 5,790, in the […]

Hurricane Elsa could be headed to Florida by Monday

By: - July 3, 2021

Update: Gov. DeSantis held a news conference in Tallahassee Saturday evening to urge Floridians to prepare for Tropical Storm Elsa, including collecting food and other supplies to last seven days and putting together a disaster plan. “Remember to plan for your pets, anyone in the household with special needs, and check on your neighbors and […]