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What you need to know for Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thank you for waking up with 10 Tampa Bay Brightside!

TAMPA, Fla. — Hello and good morning! We made it to Thursday and that means the weekend is right around the corner. 

Will masks be on next year's school supply list?📚

With another pandemic-filled school year winding down, Florida's education commissioner is currently looking toward next year and face mask policies.

In a letter, Commissioner Richard Corcoran asked school districts across the state to no longer make face masks mandatory during the 2021-22 school year. The commissioner cited a lack of evidence that linked mask mandates and the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The letter did not, however, detail the specific evidence. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that, at this time, "masks be worn at all times, by all people in school facilities, with certain exceptions for certain people, or for certain settings or activities, such as while eating or drinking." 

RELATED: Florida education commissioner asks school districts to make face masks voluntary next year

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and it may be more important than ever to take a look at your habits and ask yourself if you have a problem.  

Numerous studies have shown that drinking has increased during the pandemic. The CDC defines excessive alcohol consumption as four or more drinks on a single occasion for a woman and five or more drinks for men.

We talked to Adam Jablin, a life coach, mentor and author who gave up drinking and now helps others. These are some of the questions he said people should ask themselves if they think their habit is becoming a problem:

  • Are you drinking alone a lot? 
  • Are you hiding how much or how often you drink? 
  • Do you start thinking about drinking earlier and earlier in the day?
  • Are you planning for the next time you can drink while consuming alcohol?
  • Do you feel like you physically need it?

If you believe you have a problem, you can always talk to your doctor who can give you the resources you need to get sober. 

If you or a family member are struggling with alcohol dependence, you are not alone. You can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline for free 24/7. That number is  1-800-662-HELP (4357).

RELATED: 'This is a disease, not a lack of willpower': Alcohol Awareness Month brings attention to pandemic drinking habits

Calling all plant parents 

If you were one of the many people who became a plant parent during the pandemic, you might also be one of the people struggling to keep them green. 

You may also be finding out that keeping a plant alive is harder than you thought. We reached out to Whitney and Matt Jackson who own an indoor plant shop called, Leafy Luv Affair in Tampa to help us keep those plants thriving.

Here are the three things they say plant parents, new and old, should keep in mind. 🌱

RELATED: Local shop owners help plant parents, new and old, keep their greenery thriving