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Coronavirus Live Updates: Responsibility Now Falls On Businesses In Palm Beach County To Enforce Mask Mandate

Carl Juste
Miami Herald

This post will be updated today, Wednesday, September 30, 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.


Responsibility Now Falls On Businesses In Palm Beach County To Enforce Mask Mandate

Updated Wednesday at 2 p.m.

As people take advantage of phase three reopening in Palm Beach County, residents and business owners are having a hard time deciding how to comply with local mask rules.

When Gov. Ron Desantis moved all 67 counties in Florida into phase three, it suspended counties from collecting fines from individual COVID-19 mask violations.

But in the county’s revised executive order Tuesday, county administrator Verdenia Baker says the COVID-19 education compliance team can still issue fines and penalties to businesses if patrons violate the county’s mask ordinance.

That means the responsibility to police patrons who don’t wear facial coverings now falls on businesses — which are attempting to make up for their losses.

The county still requires facial coverings in all government buildings, Palm Tran buses, and requires businesses to adhere to CDC disinfection guidelines for reopening.

— Wilkine Brutus/WLRN News

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 1,948 Resident Death Toll Reaches 14,317

Updated Wednesday at 12:49 p.m.

Florida surpassed 700,00 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 1,948 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Florida now has a total of 706,516 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties make up 479 of the newly reported cases. Monroe County only added two cases overall.

Wednesday’s update also included the announcement of 174 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 14,317.

— By WLRN News

Fort Lauderdale Tells Bars And Restaurants: Keep Following Mask And Social Distancing Rules

Updated Wednesday at 11:54 a.m.

Don’t ditch those masks if you’re going to a bar in Fort Lauderdale.

Owners of Fort Lauderdale bars and restaurants, confused over what safety rules to follow now that the state has moved into Phase 3 of its recovery, just got clarification from Mayor Dean Trantalis.

The mayor issued an emergency order shortly before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday that seeks to prevent the virus from spreading even as businesses reopen to full capacity by requiring customers and staff to continue wearing masks.

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

— By Susannah Bryan / South Florida Sun Sentinel

DeSantis To Hand Out Rapid-Result Coronavirus Tests

Updated Wednesday at 6:25 a.m.

Seniors and school children will be the beneficiaries of more than 6.4 million rapid-result coronavirus tests that will soon be arriving in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Tuesday.

In a development the state’s emergency manager heralded as “a game-changer” in the fight against the deadly virus, the federal government has begun delivering the tests to the state’s roughly 4,000 long-term care facilities, DeSantis said.

On top of that, the state by Friday will get its first shipment of 400,000 of the antigen tests. They are similar to pregnancy tests and can deliver results in about 15 minutes.

Read more from our news partner at the Palm Beach Post.

— Jane Musgrave/ Palm Beach Post