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Coronavirus Live Updates: Monroe County Challenged In Contact Tracing, Local Governments Take Meetings Back Online

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This post will be updated today, Monday, Oct. 19, 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

Monroe Challenged In Contact Tracing, Local Governments Take Meetings Back Online

Updated Monday at 3 p.m.

COVID-19 cases and positivity rates are climbing in the Florida Keys.

Thirty three additional cases were reported Monday and the 14-day average for positivity is more than 7 percent.

Bob Eadie, Monroe administrator for the state Department of Health, said the increasing number of cases makes contact tracing and controlling the virus more of a challenge.

"We are getting to be swamped right now, just because of the staff that we have and all of the staff that we had before have been pulled back by the state," he said.

Eadie said there is some action local governments can take — to protect people and set an example.

"It is my strong recommendation that any public body that can meet virtually, should be," he told local public officials at a Monroe County Emergency Management check-in call Monday.

Both the Key West and Monroe County commissions had planned upcoming meetings where a quorum of the officials would be together in person and the public could attend.

Both announced Monday that the meetings would go back to online-only.

—Nancy Klingener/WLRN News

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By 1,707 Resident Death Toll Reaches 16,021

Updated Monday at 11:49 a.m.

Florida surpassed 750,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 1,707 cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

Florida now has a total of 756,727 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties make up 1,039 of the newly reported cases. Monroe County added 20 new cases overall.

Monday’s update also included the announcement of 54 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 16,021.

— By WLRN News

Tootsies Court Ruling Kills Miami-Dade Curfew, But County Is Fighting To Bring It Back

Updated Monday at 6:40 a.m.

A court victory by the Tootsies strip club killed Miami-Dade’s curfew for the nightlife industry, but county lawyers asked an appeals court to revive the measure before midnight Saturday.

Miami and Miami Beach announced Saturday that local police wouldn’t enforce the curfew after a Friday Circuit Court ruling by Judge Beatrice Butchko that the county’s four-month-old curfew order conflicts with a Sept. 25 decree by Gov. Ron DeSantis restriction local COVID rules.

In the meantime, the mayor of Miami said Saturday that his city will no longer enforce the curfew until it’s clear the countywide order is still legal.

— By Douglas Hanks/Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at the Miami Herald

New Rapid COVID-19 Tests Mean Millions More People Are Screened, But Many Of The Results Are Going Unreported, Health Officials Say

Updated Monday at 6:39 a.m.

After struggling to ramp up coronavirus testing, the U.S. can now screen several million people daily, thanks to a growing supply of rapid tests. But the boom comes with a new challenge: keeping track of the results.

All U.S. testing sites are legally required to report their results, positive and negative, to public health agencies. But state health officials say many rapid tests are going unreported, which means some new COVID-19 infections may not be counted.

And the situation could get worse, experts say. The federal government is shipping more than 100 million of the newest rapid tests to states for use in public schools, assisted living centers and other new testing sites.

— By Matthew Perrone / Associated Press

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