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Coronavirus Live Updates: Reopen Miami-Dade Schools? Not Before Hearing From Medical Advisers

Emily Michot
Miami Herald
Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, announces Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, that Miami-Dade and Broward counties will be moving to Phase 2. This move will allow both counties’ school systems to begin resuming in-person learning. DeSantis was accompanied by Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, rear, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, left, and Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho, right, at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

This post will be updated today, Monday, Sept. 14, 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.


Reopen Miami-Dade Schools? Not Before Hearing From Medical Advisers

Updated Monday at 4:50 p.m.

Members of the Miami-Dade County School Board want to know what the health experts think before they make a decision about reopening schools.

The district’s panel of medical advisers is meeting Thursday afternoon, and board members floated the possibility of scheduling a meeting to discuss the district’s plan later Thursday or the following Monday, since Friday is the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.

The board had planned to begin a discussion on reopening school buildings to students, teachers and staff during a special board meeting on Monday afternoon. But Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez changed the conversation Friday when they announced the county would enter phase two of reopening.

During Monday’s meeting, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the county’s decision to begin phase two means the district is halfway there. But he has committed not to reopen schools until the county meets eight health criteria, including 48-hour turnaround time for COVID-19 testing.

Some public commenters during Monday’s meeting urged the board not to open schools until there was a vaccine, arguing that students, employees and their families could get sick and die. Several said it would be hypocritical for the board members to force people back into schools while they’re still holding their own meetings via videoconference.

—Jessica Bakeman/WLRN News

Palm Beach County Bars Remain Closed in Phase 2

Updated Monday at 1:30 p.m.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation removed its statewide ban on bars but in Palm Beach County, bar restrictions remain in place.

The county’s step-by-step approach to phase two of the state’s reopening plan allows county commissioners to consider spikes in COVID-19 cases.

If the daily positivity rate remains low, the county will allow bars to open in step five of the reopening plan. That’s a date to be announced one or two months from now.

Bars also remain closed in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Monroe County bars reopened at 50 percent capacity Monday.

— Wilkine Brutus/WLRN News

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 1,736, A New All-Time Low Since June

Updated Monday at 11:44 a.m.

Florida surpassed 660,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as the Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 1,736 cases of COVID-19 on Monday. That single-day infection count is a new all time low since June

Florida now has a total of 665,730 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties make up 418 of the newly reported cases. Monroe County only added eight cases overall.

Monday’s update also included the announcement of 34 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Florida residents who died up to 12,642.

— By WLRN News

Free Online Class Aims To Teach Restaurant Owners Best Health And Safety Practices

Updated Monday at 8:59 a.m.

Restaurant owners across South Florida are supposed to meet many guidelines to reopen safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Florida International University's hospitality school teamed up with the city of Miami and the Downtown Development Authority to offer a free online course to help restaurant owners stay open.

The free one-hour class is meant to teach best health and safety practices based on the Miami-Dade County health department, says John Masi, a professor at FIU’s hospitality school who helped create the course.

He said participants who pass the class will earn a certificate and a cling that can be displayed on a window or door.

“You may have looked or seen a restaurant displaying a sanitation inspection, that they've got an A in the latest health inspection,” he said. “I view this in very much the same way that they pass this course, and it's an additional level of certification for them.”

There will be three live online classes:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Masi said class materials will be available on demand after the third course.

— By Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN News