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Coronavirus Live Updates: Palm Beach County Sports Could Start Sept. 21

Most Americans are aware that football carries a risk of concussions. An NPR poll found a large proportion of people believe safety improvements are needed for football to remain a high school sport.
Most Americans are aware that football carries a risk of concussions. An NPR poll found a large proportion of people believe safety improvements are needed for football to remain a high school sport.

This post will be updated today, Thursday, September 10, and through the week 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.

QUICK UPDATES

Palm Beach County Sports Could Start Sept. 21

Updated Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Varsity football, swimming and diving, cross country, golf, bowling, and cheerleading could begin as early as Sept. 21 in Palm Beach County schools.

The school board heard a proposal Wednesday from the Florida High School Athletic Association that would bring back fall sports on a staggered timeline as coronavirus cases continue to decline.

Schools in some other counties have already brought back sports, and parents at the meeting worried kids in Palm Beach County could miss out on scholarship opportunities as a result. Games aren’t the only way to be seen by college scouts, but Superintendent Donald Fennoy says parents should be prepared to adjust their expectations because since, “colleges have cancelled seasons, their scholarship roster next year will be much smaller.”

“A lot of the kids that are currently filling rosters at universities, there’s a strong chance those same kids will fill those rosters next year,” Fennoy said.

He said this will “impact” scholarship opportunities for student-athletes.

The school district approved a plan to reopen brick-and-mortar schools Sept. 21 following the county’s decision to move into Florida's phase two of reopening businesses and rolling back some restrictions.

— Wilkine Brutus/WLRN News

UM Students Who Visit Campus Now Required To Get Tested For COVID-19 Every Two Weeks

Updated Thursday at 2:40 p.m.

The University of Miami is now requiring all students who will be on campus at any time during the fall semester to get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks, according to a Thursday announcement from the administration.

Students who live in university housing will be required to make appointments for on-campus testing. Those who live off campus will be mailed self-administered tests.

Students who don’t comply with the requirements won’t be cleared to attend in-person classes and could face disciplinary action.

Those who are only taking online courses, and do not come to campus for any reason, are exempt.

UM has reported 285 cases of COVID-19 among students and employees since Aug. 16, according to its online dashboard.

—Jessica Bakeman/WLRN News

Federal Unemployment Aid Now Available In Florida

Updated Thursday at 12:40 p.m.

Unemployed Floridians regained access this week to extra money from the federal government.

The state Department of Economic Opportunity installed technology needed to distribute benefits to the unemployed under a so-called Lost Wages Assistance program.

President Donald Trump authorized the money by executive order after Congress failed to agree on a deal to revive payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act, which provided $600 a week in addition to state benefits. Those federal payments stopped at the end of July.

Read more at our news partner the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

— David Lyons/Sun Sentinel

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 2,583, Resident Death Toll Surpasses 12,000

Updated Wednesday at 11:12 a.m.

Florida surpassed 650,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 2,586 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Florida now has a total of 654,731 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties make up 744 of the newly reported cases. Monroe County only added four cases overall.

Thursday’s update also included the announcement of 211 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Florida residents who died up to 12,326.

— By WLRN News

Miami-Dade’s COVID Curfew Moving Back To 11 P.M. Monday — Unless You Have UM Tickets

Updated Thursday at 7:56 a.m.

Miami-Dade will be loosening more COVID rules in the coming days, starting with a special curfew exemption for people attending Thursday’s University of Miami football game at Hard Rock Stadium.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced the game day exemption during a virtual press conference Wednesday in which he also outlined a set of restrictions set to be eased Monday. That includes moving the current 10 p.m. curfew to 11 p.m., allowing amusement parks to open, permitting some team sports at county parks and lifting a blanket ban on renting shared scooters and bikes.

“The signs so far have been good,” Gimenez said, pointing to an ongoing decline in COVID hospitalizations and infection rates in daily testing results. “Wear a mask. It’s not a big deal. Then we can get back to as normal a life as possible.”

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

— By Douglas Hanks / The Miami Herald