Florida

You can’t reopen Florida schools when thousands of children are infected with COVID

In a blunt and candid response delivered in the midst of a recharged coronavirus crisis sweeping through Florida, Miami-Dade’s Superintendent of Schools confessed that he can’t “guarantee” social distancing when schools open in the fall.

Of course he can’t.

Kids will be kids — and Miami-Dade’s school district is the fourth-largest in the nation.

That’s a heady combination.

Crowded halls. Crowded classrooms. Crowded cafeterias.

“Part of the [reopening] plan relies on increased social distancing, but we cannot guarantee six feet of distance,” Alberto Carvalho said during a virtual School Board meeting to vote on an opening plan for the fall that — thankfully — gives parents options.

Because the times aren’t right for a return to campus at all.

The hot summer months were supposed to bring less coronavirus infection, but the complete opposite has happened. Florida is seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases — not only in the 18-34

Read More

Florida Keys see a daily record for COVID-19 cases and 1 new death. What happens now?

The Florida Keys on Thursday had one new COVID-19-related death and set a daily record for the number of cases reported, as the island chain braces for an influx of tourists for the long Fourth of July weekend.

The Keys reported 26 additional cases of the deadly disease, according to the Florida Department of Health, for a total of 296 cases. Five people along the island chain have died from the virus.

The person who died this week was a 67-year-old man who had “underlying chronic conditions,” according to the health department. It wasn’t immediately known where he had lived in the Keys.

On May 31, the day before the Keys took down two highway checkpoints to keep out visitors, the region had 108 known cases.

Florida also set a new daily record Thursday with 10,109 new cases. The statewide total is 169,106.

“Basically, I shudder,” said Dr. Jack Norris,

Read More

Here’s what to know in South Florida on June 28

We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding the coronavirus in South Florida and around the state.

Check back for updates on COVID-19 throughout the day.

FLORIDA’S UPDATED CASE NUMBERS

1:30 p.m.: Florida’s Department of Health on Sunday confirmed 8,530 additional cases of the coronavirus, bringing the state total to 141,075. The state also added 29 new deaths, bringing the total of COVID-19 deaths north to 3,419. The total number of cases was more than double the previous record for a Sunday, which has typically been the day with the lowest case count. This is the third highest single-day total since the pandemic began, trailing only Friday and Saturday. The percentage of new positive tests around the state was 12.3 percent and 108 hospitalizations were added.

More than a quarter of the new cases are from Miami-Dade County, which accounted for 2,152 cases and six deaths. Broward County reported

Read More

why Republicans are set for Florida convention amid pandemic

<span>Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Every four years, Democrats and Republicans stage their national conventions, huge primetime events at which presidential nominations are formally bestowed amid cascades of balloons, in front of cheering crowds.

On 20 August, a little more than two months before election day, Joe Biden will duly accept the Democratic nomination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A week later, Donald Trump will be crowned by Republicans in Jacksonville, Florida.

Related: Trump mocks ‘basement’ strategy but prudent approach pays off for Biden

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, almost everything else will not proceed as usual. But the two parties will follow radically different paths.

This week, as the US death toll passed 124,000 and cases surged in many states, Democrats announced a slimmed-down convention, mostly online and with physical events staged under guidance from public health experts. Biden’s speech, for example, has been moved to a smaller venue.

Republicans have also

Read More

No turning back for Florida, Texas? The next two weeks are ‘critical’ for US, Fauci warns

States have arrived at a crossroads that will define the coronavirus pandemic in the United States as half of the country struggles to manage rising COVID-19 cases, health experts say.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, told Congress on Tuesday that the next two weeks will be “critical” in how the country addresses the surge in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona. 

Experts say states that don’t manage their case counts risk overwhelming the health care system again and infecting neighboring states that have already flattened the curve. While summer travel is expected to decline 15% from last year, AAA still projects 683 million road trips from July to September, which could spread the coronavirus.

All this could happen ahead of the fall, when the coronavirus may reappear in a second wave and likely be accompanied by the flu.

‘Grave concerns’: COVID-19’s

Read More

No turning back for Florida, Texas? Why the next two weeks are ‘critical’ for US, Fauci warns

States have arrived at a crossroads that will define the coronavirus pandemic in the United States as half of the country struggles to manage rising COVID-19 cases, health experts say.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, told Congress on Tuesday that the next two weeks will be “critical” in how the country addresses the surge in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona. 

Experts say states that don’t manage their case counts risk overwhelming the health care system again and infecting neighboring states that have already flattened the curve. While summer travel is expected to decline 15% from last year, AAA still projects 683 million road trips from July to September, which could spread coronavirus.

All this could happen ahead of the fall, when the coronavirus may reappear in a second wave and likely be accompanied by the flu.

‘Grave concerns’: COVID-19’s surge

Read More

Florida reports a new single-day record of more than 5,500 coronavirus cases

Florida’s Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed 5,508 additional cases of COVID-19, setting another daily total record high since the start of the pandemic. The state now has a total of 109,014 confirmed cases.

Previously, the highest daily total of newly confirmed cases was on Saturday, with 4,049. There were also 44 new deaths announced Wednesday, raising the statewide death toll to 3,281.

Alberto Moscoso, a spokesman for Florida’s Department of Health, confirmed the totals to the Miami Herald on Wednesday. His confirmation comes a day after discrepancies were noted in Tuesday’s total number of cases and deaths.

Florida’s Department of Health publishes its COVID-19 data primarily in three different formats: a COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, an online summary document and a “case line” data portal.

On Tuesday, the total number of cases and deaths in the state reported on the dashboard and the online summary document did not

Read More

Fired Florida Data Scientist Creates Competing COVID-19 Tracking Site and Suggests State Is Hiding Important Information

A Florida government data scientist who was previously managing the state’s coronavirus information dashboard before being fired last month, has created her own COVID-19 tracking website. She claims her site provides data Florida’s Department of Health (DOH) has “tried to hide or restrict from public view,” partly in an effort to speed up the state’s economic reopening.

Rebekah Jones says she built a tracker based on publicly available data, which claims to capture thousands more “COVID Positive People” (by including antibody tests in the cumulative total) and dozens more deaths. She told TIME she is taking information that exists in the state’s databases, but not on its main coronavirus dashboard, and attempting to make it easily available to citizens. Launched last week, Jones portal provides information on the state’s testing availability, community resources, individualized report cards for counties and hospital data.

The state’s dashboard currently provides a narrower view of

Read More

Florida committed $283 million to adding hospital beds. Then they weren’t needed.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has chastised the media for quoting public health modelers who predicted the state would run out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients if he didn’t issue a statewide stay-home order in April. But the governor’s emergency managers, using those same models, were so concerned about a hospital shortage that they signed $283 million in no-bid deals to build alternative hospitals to hold the overflow, a Herald/Times analysis has found.

One of those hospitals, the now-shuttered Pan American Hospital near the Miami airport, received the heftiest of the offers: a $42 million-a-month agreement to repair, lease and operate a 200-bed facility to house COVID-19 patients. The deal to use Children and Family Hospital, as it was being called, was put together by Alex Heckler, a Miami lawyer who is a Democratic Party operative and close friend of Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz.

The purchase order was

Read More