3 To Know: Zoo reopens, shortage of Adderall, more

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Roseabelle the tawny frogmouth - a type of bird often mistaken for an owl - yawns at the Naples Zoo on Friday, in Naples.

1. 'It's been a good day': Naples Zoo reopens after Hurricane Ian kept it closed for 17 days

The Naples Zoo reopened Friday, closed for 17 days after Hurricane Ian pounded the Southwest Florida coast Sept. 28.

Children and adults made their way into the popular attraction beginning Friday morning, bringing some semblance of normalcy. 

"It's been really awesome, just seeing guests back in the zoo, and people coming out, feeding the giraffes and seeing all of their favorite animals," said Courtney Jolly, zoo director of marketing and public relations.

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Crews and zoo staff worked to prepare the zoo to reopen, mainly removing debris such as downed tree limbs and brush. Many of the Zoo’s smaller animals and staff rode out the storm in the Glass Animal Hospital, a hurricane-proof building.

Flooding was a problem too, Jolly said, with Ian marking the first-time storm surge entered the zoo grounds. Powerful winds also damaged some of the fencing, she said. 

More than 640 guests visited the zoo Friday, said Jack Mulvena, Naples Zoo, president and CEO, in a news release.

“We are thankful to be able to offer a fun, family experience to the community again after the storm," he said.

Naples Zoo will continue to be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., which are normal business hours, and next week will host its annual Boo at the Zoo for Halloween, Oct. 21-23. – Andres Leiva/Staff

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2. New COVID omicron subvariants starting to grow in the southeastern U.S.

As coronavirus infections continue receding across Florida, more offshoots of the pathogen's omicron variant are rising up across the southeastern United States and the country as a whole.

COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations statewide have sunk to levels not seen since before the summer surge caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, the federal government reported Friday. At the same time, more of those mutations, which the latest Pfizer and Moderna shots are better equipped to fight than their first versions, comprise a growing share of cases in the South.

Florida logged 9,886 new COVID infections since Oct. 7, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday, equivalent to what the state experienced at the end of the original omicron surge early this year.

Hospitals statewide tended to 1,240 COVID-positive patients Friday, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department reported. That's the least amount since May 10.

Florida's death toll grew by 249 since the state Health Department's last biweekly pandemic report published Oct. 7. The state has added fewer fatalities each week since summer. Deaths can take weeks to enter official statistics, meaning they lag behind other indicators. – Chris Persaud/Staff

Adderall, used to treated ADHD, now more difficult to find amid supply issues

3. Health officials confirm shortage of Adderall, medication often used for ADHD, narcolepsy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed a shortage of the medication commonly referred to by the brand name Adderall. 

“FDA is in frequent communication with all manufacturers of amphetamine mixed salts, and one of those companies, Teva, is experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays,” the FDA said in a statement on Wednesday. “Other manufacturers continue to produce amphetamine mixed salts, but there is not sufficient supply to continue to meet U.S. market demand through those producers.” 

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in a statement to USA Today said it has "active supply of both branded Adderall and its generic version and continues to produce and refill the channel regularly at levels above historical demand." 

"It is possible that some people may encounter a backorder (intermittently) based on timing and demand, but these are only temporary," the company added in an emailed statement, adding that it expects "inventory recovery in the coming months." – Marina Pitofsky/USA Today