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The latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Florida. This page ended its updates as of August 2020. Head here for additional stories on COVID-19 and the pandemic.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Rubio Targeted In National Teachers’ Union’s Campaign For COVID-19 Funds

Zach Gibson
AP via Miami Herald

This post will be updated today, Tuesday, June 16, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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The dedicated website from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

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Rubio Targeted In National Teachers’ Union’s $1M Ad Campaign For COVID-19 Relief Funds

Updated Tuesday at 1:50 p.m.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is among the targets of a national teachers’ union’s seven-figure advertising campaign pushing for more federal relief funds to help schools and colleges survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign from the American Federation of Teachers pressures members of the U.S. Senate to support the HEROES Act, a bill passed by the House that would provide another $3 trillion in COVID-19 relief, including about $90 billion for K-12 and higher education.

“We must fund our public schools and community services. We can’t afford to forfeit our future,” a narrator says during the commercial.

“Tell your senator to fund our future now and support the HEROES Act,” the ad says. In Florida’s version, the phone number for Rubio’s Washington, D.C., office is shown on the screen.

The 30-second spot will air on major national news networks and appear on Facebook for two weeks in Florida, nine other states and D.C. — amounting to a $1 million ad buy, a spokesman for the union said.

Local teachers’ unions including the United Teachers of Dade and Broward Teachers Union are affiliated with AFT.

Spokespeople for the Republican lawmaker did not respond to a request for comment.

—Jessica Bakeman/WLRN News

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Surpass 80,000

Updated Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

Florida surpassed 80,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 2,783 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Florida has a total of 80,109 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Tuesday's update also included the announcement of 55 new deaths, increasing the statewide number to 2,993. 

— WLRN News

Updated Tuesday at 7 a.m.

No Rollback On Reopening Efforts Yet, COVID-19 Numbers Rise

The mayors of Miami and Miami Beach said Monday that they are concerned about the increasing totals and positive test rates of novel coronavirus cases in Miami-Dade County, but that they won’t yet roll back the reopening of their cities’ economies or order residents to stay at home.

“There are major concerns,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said at a press conference with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber at Miami City Hall. “Now is not the time to let your guard down.”

But two hours later, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez held a press conference of his own and painted a different picture. He suggested the county’s increasing number of COVID-19 cases is a direct result of increased testing, and that the rate of positive tests “remains relatively stable.”

To read more, visit our news partner at the Miami Herald.

- Aaron Leibowitz/Miami Herald


Court Overturns Ruling On COVID-19 In Jail


Updated Tuesday at 7 a.m.

Disputing that officials had shown “deliberate indifference,” a divided federal appeals court Monday overturned a preliminary injunction that sought to force Miami-Dade County to take additional steps to curb COVID-19 at a jail.
The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came in a class-action lawsuit filed in April by pretrial detainees at Metro West Detention Center against Miami-Dade County and Daniel Junior, director of corrections and rehabilitation.

The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights were being violated, at least in part because the jail did not comply with public-health guidelines to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19.

Among the allegations was that safe social distancing was not being carried out. A U.S. district judge on April 29 issued a preliminary injunction ordering additional steps to prevent spread of the disease, including actions to comply with social distancing. The county appealed and sought a stay of the preliminary injunction, which was granted.

- News Service of Florida