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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Death Toll For COVID-19 Surpasses 12,000

COVID-19 testing site
Miami Herald

This post will be updated today, Friday, September 4, and through the weekend with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

WLRN staff continues to add to community resource lists, including this article on where kids and families can get food while schools are closed, and this post about whether and where to get tested for coronavirus.

The dedicated website for the Florida Department of Health, including information about symptoms and numbers of cases, can be found here.

The dedicated website from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

To receive WLRN's coronavirus updates newsletter on Wednesdays and Saturdays, sign up here.


State Reports 2,2564 COVID-19 Cases Sunday, Death Toll Now At 12,001

Updated Sunday at 2:15 p.m.

The Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 2,564 new cases and 34 new deaths, the latter number putting the state’s pandemic death toll at 12,001.

Sunday’s case count breaks the run of three days back over 3,000 cases although its in line with last Sunday’s total of 2,583. Because of differences in data collection and entry, Sunday case counts have tended to be lower throughout the pandemic.

The state’s average daily positive test rate for the last seven reported days is 5.66%, a whisper’s difference from the 5.71% of the previous seven days.

Read more from our news partner the Miami Herald

-David J. Neal/Miami Herald

COVID-19 Claims Another Life At BSO

Updated Sunday at 11:55 a.m.

COVID-19 has claimed another life at the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Pamela Ford, 54, died Friday after testing positive for the coronavirus on Aug. 12, officials announced.

The Community Programs Supervision Specialist was hired in January 1993 as a Broward County court probation officer. When those duties were transferred to the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2001, Ford handled probation cases and completed monthly computer checks on clients, criminals and sex offenders, as well.

Read more from our news partner the Sun Sentinel

-Wayne K. Roustan/Sun Sentinel

Florida Is Privatizing State-Run COVID Testing Sites, Starting With Broward County

Updated Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Less than two months after state-run COVID testing sites were overwhelmed with demand amid a surge in new infections, Florida officials are turning to a single private vendor to reduce operating costs for the sites, beginning with a Broward County site at the busiest intersection in Pembroke Pines.

The state will consolidate vendors for nurses, equipment and lab work at the testing site at C.B. Smith Park, according to Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz.

“We are rightsizing the testing sites,” he said, adding that the division is cutting costs as demand for tests has waned. He said the state is looking to make similar changes at other state-run testing sites.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.

— Ben Conarck and Daniel Chang/Miami Herald

DeSantis Signs Phase 2 Reopening Order For Palm Beach County

Updated Friday at 2:45 p.m.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed an executive order allowing Palm Beach County to move into Phase 2, further relaxing restrictions on business designed to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The one-page order doesn't make clear whether DeSantis approved the county's multi-step approach or whether it is a slightly more liberal reopening than is already in place in 64 of the state's 67 counties.

In his order, DeSantis said he was clearing the way for the county to enter into "Phase 2 of my Smart. Safe. Step-by-Step Plan."

Read more at our news partner the Palm Beach Post.

— Jane Musgrave/Palm Beach Post

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 6,769

Updated Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Florida surpassed 640,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 6,769 cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Florida has a total of 640,211 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Friday’s update also included the announcement of 100 new deaths, increasing the statewide number to 11,750.

— By WLRN News

South Florida Nursing Home Operators Say New COVID Testing Rules Are ‘Impossible’ To Meet

Updated Friday at 9:00 a.m.

COVID testing requirements for nursing home staff put into effect this week are “impossible” to meet, operators of South Florida facilities say.

The federal rules require routine staff testing twice a week in communities with high infection rates — such as Miami-Dade and Broward counties — and once a week in Palm Beach County. The nursing homes must meet the testing requirement for participation in Medicare and Medicaid; fines for not complying with the testing requirements will start at $400 per day per site and can go up to $8,000.

But nursing home operators say they don’t have the supplies to conduct the tests.

Read more from our news partner at The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

— By Cindy Krischer Goodman /Sun Sentinel

Here’s Where Miami Residents Can Go To Get Help Paying The Mortgage Or Rent

Updated Friday at 5:22 a.m.

The city of Miami is offering grants for homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments due to economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. A separate relief program for renters facing eviction is also accepting applications.

For the mortgage assistance program, eligible homeowners must live in their homes within Miami city limits and have a homestead exemption. Qualified owners can receive one-time payments of up to $6,000 directly to the bank or lender. The grants can pay for principal, interest, taxes and insurance between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020.

The mortgage assistance program is funded by $1 million in coronavirus relief funds from the state of Florida. The city started accepting applications Aug. 17 and will close the program Nov. 30 or when all of the funds are committed.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

— By Joey Flechas and Sarah Moreno /Miami Herald