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Coronavirus Live Updates: Statewide Resident Death Toll Surpasses 20,000 As Florida Adds More Than 8,000 New Cases

Liberty City park.jpg
Verónica Zaragovia
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Rochelle Lightfoot sang "Amazing Grace" on Nov. 24, 2020 at the Simonhoff Park in Liberty City, which has a memorial to the people who've died from COVID-19.

This post will be updated today, Monday, Dec. 14, 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

Statewide Resident Death Toll Surpasses 20,000 As Florida Adds More Than 8,000 New Cases

Updated Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 8,452 positive cases of COVID-19 Monday. Florida has a total of 1,134,383 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Monday's update also included the announcement of 137 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 20,003. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 20,271.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 7,523 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 28 deaths due to COVID-19.

— WLRN News

Failed By Distance Learning, More Students Plan To Return To School

Updated Monday at 8:10 a.m.

Distance learning has failed many South Florida students during the pandemic, leading to a push by local schools to get kids back on campus.

Schools are trying to persuade more parents that schools are safe places in the age of COVID-19 and that online learning may not be the best option, as data shows the number of student absences and F grades have more than doubled since last year.

Broward plans to overhaul its on-campus experience so that students spend more time interacting with teachers in the same room and less time on a computer.

— By Scott Travis, The South Florida Sun Sentinel

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

Deadline To Apply For ‘Obamacare’ Is Near. Here’s How To Get Your ACA Needs Covered

Updated Monday at 8:08 a.m.

Have you enrolled for the 2021 Affordable Care Act — best known as Obamacare — yet? Do you want to?

Know this: The deadline to join that healthcare market in 2021 is Tuesday, Dec. 15. The biggest mistake people make is missing the deadline, said Charlene Zein, senior vice president of Ambetter from Sunshine Health. Ambetter is headquartered in South Florida and is one of many insurance companies selling ACA plans in the marketplace. So is Florida Blue, Medica and others.

“Take the time today to research your options, because health insurance may be more affordable than you think,” she said. “The deadline is almost here, but you still have time to make a decision that could benefit you and your family.”

— By Howard Cohen, The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

For At-Risk Patients With COVID-19, A New Therapy Reaches South Florida Hospitals

Updated Monday at 8:04 a.m.

An experimental COVID-19 therapy made famous by President Donald Trump — monoclonal antibody treatment — is the latest tool that South Florida hospitals have for preventing death and severe illness from the novel virus.

But there’s a catch: it has to be given early for it to work, so hospital officials are pushing the message that people who feel ill should get tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and, if positive, call their physician or report to the emergency room as soon as possible.

That requires a certain degree of vigilance, said Madeline Camejo, chief pharmacy officer at Baptist Health of South Florida.

— By Ben Conarck, The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at the Miami Herald.