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A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced Wednesday all state-supported coronavirus testing sites will temporarily close this week ahead of the anticipated arrival of a weather system that's expected to become a tropical storm.

Why it matters: Florida has reported more than 450,00 cases and over 6,300 deaths from COVID-19, including a record 216 deaths in 24 hours announced Wednesday. "All sites have free standing structures including tents and other equipment, which cannot withstand tropical storm force winds, and could cause damage to people and property if not secured," the emergency management's statement said.

What to expect: The potential tropical cyclone is forecast to impact Florida with "heavy rains and strong winds arriving to South Florida as early as Friday," per the statement.

  • Florida Division of Emergency Management said the testing sites would remain closed from 5 p.m. Thursday and reopen on a rolling basis.
  • All sites are anticipated to be reopened at the latest by 8 a.m., Wednesday, August 5.

Of note: Free COVID-19 testing remains available through local County Health Departments.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Nov 7, 2020 - World

Storm Eta: At least 150 believed to be dead or missing in Guatemala

People wade through the water in a flooded area in Panzos, Alta Verapaz, in Guatemala. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP

At least 150 are believed to be dead or missing in Guatemala after Tropical Depression Eta brought torrential rain to Central America, triggering devastating flooding and mudslides, per Reuters.

The big picture: Eta, which made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday, was expected to strengthen overnight as it moved northeast toward Cuba, the Cayman Islands, parts of the Bahamas and southern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said late on Friday.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.