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5 Things To Know On Monday, August 2, 2021

Posted at 6:55 AM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 06:55:35-04

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. Biles is Back: Simone Biles to return to Olympic competition
Simone Biles will compete in the women's beam event final on Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced.

Beam is the last opportunity for Biles to compete in Tokyo after withdrawing from the team final after one rotation, followed by her next four possible events, citing concerns about her mental health.

Catch Biles' return to competition live at 4:50 a.m. ET on Aug. 3 on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports App and Peacock, as well as replayed in primetime on NBC.

Simone Biles to return to Olympic competition

2. Florida breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations
A day after it recorded the most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida on Sunday broke a previous record for current hospitalizations set more than a year ago before vaccines were available.

The Sunshine State had 10,593 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data reported to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Until recently, the record was 10,179 on July 23, 2020.

In the past week, Florida has averaged 1,525 adult hospitalizations a day, and 35 daily pediatric hospitalizations. Both are the highest per capita rate in the nation.

Florida breaks record with 10,593 COVID-19 hospitalizations

3. How DeSantis is responding:
Standing behind a lectern with a sign reading “Free to Choose,” Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his executive order Friday that strikes down a mask mandates imposed by schools.

According to the executive order, if a school district goes against the governor and imposes a mask mandate, the state may withhold funding from that district.

In other news involving choice and DeSantis, the governor signed the state of Florida onto an Amicus brief encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that allowed pre-viability abortions in the United States.

Florida students won't be forced to wear face masks in school, Gov. Ron DeSantis says

4. Where companies stand on masks and vaccines:
Walmart Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are requiring thousands of their U.S. workers to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

Disney said Friday its vaccine requirement applies to salaried and nonunion workers, while Walmart said its vaccine mandate applied to corporate staff and regional managers.

Publix will join Walmart will in requiring their employees to wear masks starting today. In a statement released Friday, a Publix spokeswoman said masks are still optional for shoppers, but "we encourage all to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19."

Disney to require salaried, non-union hourly employees in U.S. to be vaccinated

5. Need school supplies? You'll want to get them this week:
The 2021 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday runs through Monday, August 9.

During the holiday period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax including:

  • $15 or less, per item
    • School supplies
  • $60 or less, per item
    • Clothing and shoes
    • Backpacks, handbags and wallets
  • Up to $1,000 per item
    • Personal computers or personal computer-related accessories

Please note that the sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items.

Back-to-School sales tax holiday underway

Today's Forecast
Steamy and stormy workweek ahead

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On This Day In History
On August 02, 1934, with the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or “Leader.”

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