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Coronavirus Live Updates: Miami-Dade PTA Leader Gives Advice On Supporting Children During COVID-19

Courtesy of Kristy Figueras

This post will be updated today, Tuesday, July 14, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

In these uncertain times, you can rely on WLRN to keep you current on local news and information. Your support is what keeps WLRN strong. Please become a member today. Donate Now. Thank you.

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.


Miami-Dade PTA Leader Gives Parents Advice On Supporting Their Children’s Education

Updated Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

The Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs hosted a Q&A webinar on Monday night and the meeting quickly exceeded the max capacity of 500 online participants in just minutes of opening.

Parents submitted their questions via Zoom’s chat function. Sandra West, president of the council, mentioned that many parents asked about how they can support their child’s learning during the pandemic. 

“Make sure that they are spending time on themselves,” West said. “It is very easy to spend all of our time as we are now, online. But it is just as important to their health to be offline sometimes.”

West stressed the importance of a parent’s interaction with their child’s teachers.

“You need to stay in communication with your teachers so you can be a part of the solution,” West said. “Make sure that you know how to get a hold of the teacher if you have a question, not just your student.”

She reminded parents of young children to know their child’s passwords and login information for Zoom, and other online resources, in case the student forgets.

West also pointed out that parents need to let their children know that they support them, and they are there for them during these unconventional times.

“I hope that what you have learned during this time will carry forward even when we are back to complete brick-and-mortar, that you as a parent are engaged and active in your education.”

The panelists didn’t have enough time to answer everyone’s questions, so parents can visit the Miami-Dade County Public School’s Frequently Asked Questions for additional answers and information.

— Amber Amortegui/WLRN News

Florida COVID-19 Cases Increase By Over 9,000, Deaths Increase By 132

Updated Tuesday at 11:10 a.m.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed an additional 9,194 cases on Tuesday. The state has a total of 291,629 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Tuesday's update also included the announcement of 132 new deaths. Total statewide number of deaths increased to 4,409.

- WLRN News


Keys Energy To Resume Service Disconnections Aug. 1

Updated Tuesday at 10:25 a.m.

Keys Energy Services, the utility that provides power from the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West, has announced it will start cutting off electricity for nonpayment again on Aug. 1 for those who have not paid past due balances or signed up for a payment plan.

If you can't pay your bill, you can call 305-295-1110 or email web.accounts@keysenergy.com to set up a plan.

The utility has created a deferred payment plan for those with a COVID-19 hardship to repay their balance interest-free over 12 months. The Monroe County Social Services office is also administering a Low Income Energy Assistance program that can pay a past-due amount up to $750. You can learn more here about payment options.

The utility has also created a grant program of $100,000 for those who have been denied help under LIHEAP. That program is being administered by the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition.

For more information, call 305-295-7741 and leave a message.

The Miami-Dade County Commission has called on FPL to suspend service disconnections until 60 days after the state of emergency ends, and to provide help to those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

— Nancy Klingener/WLRN News

Florida To Add 'Symptomatic' Lanes At Drive-Through Testing Sites

Updated Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.

Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged on Monday that Floridians are not getting their coronavirus test results fast enough.

“There’s a need for faster results,” DeSantis said at a news conference at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. “When people go through, a lot of times they’re not getting their results back for seven days. Obviously we want to improve that.”

DeSantis said the state would add dedicated “symptomatic” lanes at drive-through testing sites for potentially infected residents in South Florida to get more rapid tests.

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

- Kirby Wilson/ Miami Herald


Union Says Push To Reopen Schools Is Rushed

Updated Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.


The head of a union that represents thousands of school employees said Monday that Florida’s push to reopen schools in August is rushed and “putting lives in danger.”

AFSCME Florida President Vicki Hall said in a statement the state lacks a comprehensive plan to ensure students and employees will be safe when they return to school campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran last week issued an order requiring school districts to come up with individual reopening plans by the end of the month. The order also said districts must offer students the option to return to in-person instruction at school five days a week.

Hall said thousands of janitors, bus drivers, food service workers and other school workers, represented by AFSCME, are concerned about coming back to work as Florida emerges as the nation’s “epicenter” of coronavirus cases.

- News Service of Florida