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Coronavirus Live Updates: Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 2,541, Resident Death Toll Reaches 13,618

A lab technician adds vials to a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction testing device at a Co-Diagnostics facility in Salt Lake City.
A lab technician adds vials to a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction testing device at a Co-Diagnostics facility in Salt Lake City.

This post will be updated today, Thursday, September 24, 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

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 2,541, Resident Death Toll Reaches 13,618

Updated Wednesday at 12:41 p.m.

Florida surpassed 690,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 2,541 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Florida now has a total of 693,040 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties make up 698 of the newly reported cases. Monroe County only added four cases overall.

Thursday’s update also included the announcement of 177 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 13,795.

— By WLRN News

Palm Beach County Offers Aid To Businesses That Closed Due To Covid-19 Restrictions

Updated Thursday at 7:30 a.m.

As bars and numerous other businesses continue waiting for permission to reopen from COVID-19 restrictions, Palm Beach County is offering some financial relief.

On Friday, businesses that were forced to shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions will be allowed to apply for individual grants for up to $25,000. Palm Beach County is allocating $23 million for this round of grants and will process claims on a first-come, first-served basis.

Palm Beach County will begin accepting online applications at 8 a.m. Friday. The two-week window will close on Oct. 9.

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

— By Wells Dusenbury / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

Younger Students First To Go Back As Catholic Schools Reopen In South Florida

Updated Thursday at 7:23 a.m.

For the first time in about six months, students returned to Catholic schools in Miami-Dade and Broward on Wednesday.

The Archdiocese of Miami decided to gradually transition to in-person learning beginning Wednesday and ending Oc.t 2, after shutting down its schools’ classrooms in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The schools, like most in Florida, started the 2020-21 school year Aug. 19 offering online learning only, which will remain an option for parents who are not ready to send their kids back yet to in-person classrooms. Schools installed cameras inside the classrooms to allow for remote learning.

Read more from our news partner at the Miami Herald.

— By Jimena Tavel / The Miami Herald

Judge To Decide Whether Schools Are Safe To Open

Updated Thursday at 7:19 a.m.

A judge is expected to rule soon whether it’s up to the courts to decide if Palm Beach County schools are safe to open.

A six-hour hearing was held Wednesday afternoon and evening over a lawsuit seven teachers filed against the school district. Palm Beach Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley gave the parties 24 hours to submit additional briefs. His ruling could come Friday or early next week.

Kelley asked questions that suggested he may believe the decision on whether to open schools, as well as whether to allow teachers to work remotely, is best left up to local school boards.

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

— By Scott Travis/ The South Florida Sun Sentinel