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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: Carvalho Says It Took 10 Days To Get His (Negative) COVID-19 Test Results

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho
Daniel Bock
For the Miami Herald
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho

This post will be updated today, Thursday, August 6, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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Carvalho Says It Took 10 Days To Get His (Negative) COVID-19 Test Results

Updated Thursday at 3 p.m.

The turnaround time for COVID-19 testing in South Florida has to be much faster for school buildings to open, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Thursday.

“I was tested two weeks ago. It took me 10 days to get my test,” Carvalho said during a virtual luncheon hosted by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. A spokeswoman said his result was negative for the coronavirus.

“So, to the extent that test results do not come back in 48 hours, it compromises our ability to effectively deploy contact tracing,” he said.

The positivity rate — or the percentage of test results that come back positive for COVID-19 — also has to drop for the district to resume in-person classes, he said, as that change would signal that there was no longer out-of-control community spread of the virus.

Like others throughout the state and country, the Miami-Dade district closed schools in March in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus. Carvalho had hoped to reopen buildings in the fall with students taking a combination of in-person and remote courses, but the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths has made that too risky.

“We are ready. We are ready to go back to school right now. Unfortunately, our community is not. Conditions in the community are not,” Carvalho said Thursday. “I think it would be counterintuitive to empty restaurants, to empty bars, but to fill classrooms. It does not make sense.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Carvalho has said the nation will likely experience “an unprecedented, historic academic regression.” Now he said he believes students will recover.

“I know that in the worst of conditions, human resiliency is adaptive, and past a crisis, it makes up for what it lost,” he said. “So will we lose a generation? Absolutely not. As long as we’re smart enough to do right by these kids.”

The district will do that, Carvalho said, by focusing attention on the students who are struggling the most and ensuring all kids have what they need to learn online.

— Jessica Bakeman/WLRN News

Florida COVID-19 Cases Increase By 7,650, Deaths Increase By 120

Updated Thursday at 11:10 a.m.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed an additional 7,650 cases on Thursday. The state has a total of 510,389 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Thursday's update included 120 new deaths among Florida residents, increasing the statewide number to 7,747. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County make up 3,449 of the reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 13 deaths due to COVID-19.

- WLRN News

Inmate COVID-19 Deaths Up To 59 As Outbreaks Continue

Updated Thursday at 6:25 a.m.

The number of Florida prison inmates who have died from COVID-19 increased to 59 on Wednesday, while corrections officials said they have taken additional steps to deal with outbreaks at two facilities.

The number of inmates who have died was up from 54 in a Tuesday count. Meanwhile, the number of inmates who have tested positive statewide increased to 9,460 on Wednesday, up from 9,180 a day earlier, according to the Florida Department of Correction.

The number of infected corrections workers increased to 1,866 on Wednesday, up from 1,810 on Tuesday. The department said Wednesday it has taken additional steps to try to stem the spread of the disease at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, which has had 777 inmates and 97 workers test positive.

That came a day after the department made a similar announcement about addressing an outbreak at Florida Women’s Reception Center, a facility in Ocala that totaled 472 inmate cases and 31 worker cases on Wednesday.

Large numbers of cases have occurred at prisons throughout the state. Those prisons include Columbia Correctional Institution, with 1,316 inmate cases; Lowell Correctional Institution, with 853 inmate cases; Graceville Correctional Facility, with 656 inmate cases; and Taylor Correctional Institution, with 453 inmate cases, according to the department.

- News Service of Florida

Cruises Canceled Until October 31

Updated Thursday at 6:25 a.m.

Cruise companies are canceling U.S. cruises until at least Oct. 31.

The industry lobbying group Cruise Lines International Association announced Wednesday that its member lines won’t be coming back until at least that date. In June, the group agreed to cancel U.S. cruises through mid-September, before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention banned cruises until Oct. 1.

CLIA member companies include Florida-based Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages.

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

- Taylor Dolven/Miami Herald


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