© 2021 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Coronavirus Live Updates: First Healthcare Workers In Miami-Dade Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

MIA_Pfizer_Vaccine_Jackson_ (8).jpeg
COVID unit nurse Yaimara Cruz reacts after receiving the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

This post will be updated today, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 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.


First Healthcare Workers In Miami-Dade Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Updated Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.

Less than half a year removed from weathering one of the most drastic COVID-19 surges in the country, front-line healthcare workers at Miami’s public hospital system rolled up the sleeves of their scrubs on Tuesday and welcomed their first doses of a vaccine shown to be capable of keeping the novel coronavirus at bay.

The conference room inside Jackson Memorial Hospital, one of the most active South Florida hospitals during the pandemic, erupted in applause after Grace Meatley, a nurse in the intensive care unit, received Jackson’s first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which arrived at the health system Tuesday morning.

The joyous occasion was a marked departure from recent news conferences at the facility over the last 10 months that often warned of worsening statistics and dire illness.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.

— Ben Conarck / Miami Herald

Florida Adds More Than 9,400 New Cases, 79 Additional Resident Deaths

Updated Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 9,411 positive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Florida has a total of 1,143,794 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Tuesday's update also included the announcement of 79 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 20,082. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 20,365.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 7,540 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 28 deaths due to COVID-19.

— WLRN News

The COVID-19 Vaccine Has Arrived In Florida. When Can You Get It And Where?

Updated Tuesday At 8:40 a.m

Healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities in Florida will be rolling up their sleeves to get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

First up for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are healthcare workers at five Florida hospitals, two of which are in South Florida: Jackson Health System in Miami-Dade County, Memorial Healthcare System in southern Broward County, Tampa General Hospital, AdventHealth Orlando and UF Health Jacksonville.

“Strike teams” will also be sent to long-term care facilities, whose residents are considered to be one of the most at-risk groups for the novel coronavirus.

— By Michelle Marchante / The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

Cocktails-To-Go Could Be Permanent In Florida Under New Proposal

Updated Tuesday At 8:35 a.m

It’s Christmas cocktail season at Death or Glory bar in Delray Beach, and what’s lifting co-owner Annie Blake’s holiday spirits are takeout sales of Jingle Bell Nog and Christmapolitans.

During statewide lockdowns this spring, takeout booze gave Death or Glory a lifeline when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis temporarily allowed restaurants to sell cocktails to-go for the first time. Sure, customers ordered takeout entrees like bucatini Bolognese, Blake says, but 60 percent of early-pandemic sales came solely from customers who ordered liters of Old Fashioneds and mojitos to go. Nine months later, takeout drinkers are still craving Blake’s bottles of blended holiday cheer.

“Do I think to-go cocktails are a be-all, end-all rescue plan for restaurant-bars? Absolutely not,” says Blake, who says takeout booze now accounts for 5 percent of sales. “But it’s a great service for people not going out to bars. Any little bit of incremental business helps.”

— By Phillip Valys and Austin Fuller / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

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

Palm Beach County's Chief Judge Tests Positive As Cases Climb

Updated Tuesday at 8:32 a.m.

Palm Beach County Chief Judge Krista Marx and her husband, Circuit Judge Joseph Marx, tested positive for the coronavirus this month.

Speaking with The Palm Beach Post on Friday, Krista Marx said she and her husband are "very fortunate" and have had little to no symptoms so far.

As of Sunday, 1,125,931 people have been diagnosed in Florida with COVID-19 and 20,133 have died. In Palm Beach County, 72,708 have tested positive for the respiratory virus and 1,795 have died since March.

— By Hannah Winston / The Palm Beach Post

Read more from our news partner at The Palm Beach Post.