State to further expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility Monday
Starting April 5, a much greater number of Florida residents will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Florida Department of Health announced all residents “shall be eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration,” noting the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 16 and older and both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and up. The announcement came at the same time the state also expanded vaccine eligibility to all people age 40 and up, a policy that took effect on Monday.
If you are at least 40 years old or meet other criteria — which you can check for online — you can get more info at floridahealthcovid19.gov or HCFLGov.net/vaccine. The official online registration portal is patientportalfl.com.
MLK festivities return this weekend
The 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. festivities are officially back on for this weekend after COVID-19 forced the Improvement League of Plant City to postpone them back in January.
This Saturday will have plenty for people of all ages to see and do. It will likely be the biggest day of events as the parade, drumlines and street festival will be ongoing all day. The parade is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and will travel downtown along East Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard. The festivities will pick up at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center, 1601 E. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., after the parade.
April 3 is also the day before Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, so the new date for 2021 still bears significance being so close to one of the most impactful, tragic moments of the civil rights movement.
The annual Plant City MLK Leadership Breakfast is up next at 7:30 a.m. April 11 at the Trinkle Center at Hillsborough Community College, 1206 N. Park Road. After that, the celebration will conclude on May 20 with a Florida Emancipation Day celebration at the Bing Rooming House African-American Museum, 205 S. Allen St.
SFBH gets ‘A’ Leapfrog safety grade
South Florida Baptist Hospital announced Tuesday it received high marks from the Leapfrog Group following a fall 2020 review for its Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade program.
The Plant City hospital received an “A” grade, the highest on Leapfrog’s metric, for its “achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care,” per a press release. Leapfrog’s program uses as many as 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to review and grade more than 2,600 acute-care hospitals around the United States twice a year. The grading scale runs from “A” through “F” and further details for SFBH and other hospitals are available online at hospitalsafetygrade.org.
“This analytic from Leapfrog shows our priority with medical attention-to-detail and safety,” Karen Kerr, South Florida Baptist Hospital president, said in a press release. “Teams at every level of our hospital played a part in this recognition. We have strong internal systems that I believe are shown out by this distinction.”
City Easter Egg Hunt this weekend
The Plant City Parks and Recreation Department is ready for the city’s 32nd annual Easter Egg Hunt, which is scheduled for this Saturday morning.
The free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., will be held at the Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex, 2602 E. Cherry St. Children age 3-11 can hunt for 10,000 candy-filled eggs and special “golden eggs” with additional prizes. There will also be photo ops with the Easter Bunny, trackless trains, balloon art, Razzmatazz Entertainment and more on site. All youth will get a free hot dog and a drink. The event is sponsored by Global Sports Alliance.
Those participating in the egg hunt are asked to bring their own baskets and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
For more information, call 813-659-4255.