The pandemic changed pretty much everything we do daily, but it didn't stop our 10 Investigates team from fighting to get answers and solutions for you.
In fact, COVID-19 added a lot of extra work to our team's plate.
For most of us, Zoom calls became the standard way of communicating in 2020 during the pandemic. But no amount of social distancing could keep us from fighting for you.
#1: COVID-19 IMPACTS ON NURSING HOMES, JAILS AND CHILDREN
10 Investigates dug into every concern you had about the COVID-19 pandemic, from jails to nursing homes. We spoke to families of people who live in long-term care facilities and worked to get answers for them.
And, when the Florida Department of Health wouldn't release information on a mysterious illness in children related to COVID, we pushed back, getting that information from hospitals.
#2: LACK OF SCHOOL PANDEMIC PLANS
When students transitioned from classrooms to living rooms, many issues came to the surface. 10 Investigates uncovered major inconsistencies in school pandemic plans and in some cases no plans at all.
#3: SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS SLIPPING THROUGH THE CRACKS
Some of those hardest hit were special needs students. We spoke to parents who said their ESE students were not getting the time and resources promised by the state.
#4: RACIAL WAGE GAP
As many lost their jobs, 10 Investigates identified a wide wage gap between white people and Black people in the Tampa Bay area.
#5: YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AT RISK
10 Investigates discovered government workers abusing their access to your sensitive personal information while many of the victims never had a clue.
"It's information that obviously could be used in identity theft, or it could be used for some nefarious purpose if it was leaked out."
#6: DEADLY FLESH-EATING BACTERIA IN FLORIDA WATERS
10 Investigates also discovered dozens of deaths after people contracted flesh-eating bacteria in Florida waters over the years. But, many weren't reported here because of how the Department of Health tracks cases. Leaving many beachgoers in the dark about what is lurking below.
#7: BUS DRIVERS ATTACKED ON THE JOB
Meanwhile, on Bay area roads, bus drivers faced horrors of their own. 10 Investigates discovered a spike in attacks. When those drivers couldn't get help on their own, we took our findings to HART's director of safety and security.
#8: DEADLY BACTERIA IN HOSPITAL WATER
After at least eight Florida surgery patients got an infection caused by Nontuberculous mycobacteria or "NTM", 10 Investigates discovered facilities only have to notify the Florida Department of Health if there's an outbreak. Following our investigation, state Rep. Chris Sprowls asked the Florida Department of Health to make changes.
"So, what we've asked the Department of Health to do is to rectify that. To change their rule to reflect that these cases, these infections, need to be reported to the state immediately," Sprowls said.
#9: LICENSING LOOPHOLE
10 investigates uncovered a loophole that allowed a local certified nursing assistant accused of inappropriately touching patients to continue to work. State lawmakers decided to close it, voting to add a new Florida law, so it never happens again.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on the bill in July.
#10: COSTLY ERROR
A triple murder suspect had more than 200 prior felony arrests.10 Investigates uncovered an error in the paperwork that showed he had no prior criminal history.
Now, the local states attorney is calling for change to how the courts are run on the weekends.
It's been a trying year for everyone, but 10 Investigates is still here, fighting for you.
And, we'll continue to do that in 2021.
You can watch all of the work from our 10 Investigates team here.
Contact 10 Investigates: Tips@10TampaBay.com
Our Investigative Reporters on Twitter:
- Jennifer Titus: @jenntitus10
- Jenna Bourne: @jennabourneWTSP
- Courtney Robinson: @CourtneyWTSP