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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Adds More Than 11,000 New Cases, Statewide Resident Deaths Surpass 26,000 Mark

The Miami Herald
Nurses give the COVID-19 vaccine to Miami-Dade County residents with appointments at the Tropical Park site in Miami on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

This post will be updated today, Thursday, Jan. 28, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

WLRN staff continues to add updates on testing and vaccination sites, executive orders and messages from government officials, and the latest news on COVID-19. You can find information on free food and food distributions here.

The dedicated website for the Florida Department of Health, including information about the numbers of cases, can be found here.

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

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Florida Adds More Than 11,000 New Cases, Statewide Resident Deaths Surpass 26,000 Mark

Updated Thursday at 3:15 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 11,423 positive cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Florida has a total of 1,687,594 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Thursday's update also included the announcement of 202 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 26,035. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 26,456.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 9,018 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 40 deaths due to COVID-19.

— WLRN News

Palm Beach County Can Enforce Mask Mandate, Court Rules

Updated Thursday at 6:15 a.m

Palm Beach County cannot be blocked from enforcing its COVID-19 mask mandate, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

“The mask mandate is directed to protecting the health ... of people in the proximity of the mask wearer,” the 4th District Court of Appeal said in a ruling on a case brought by four Palm Beach County residents challenging the legality of the mask requirements.

The county’s mandate has “has a clear rational basis based on the protection of public health.” the court ruled.

— By Rafael Olmeda / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

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

Publix’s Vaccine Sign-up Site Will Open Again Friday — With Changes

Updated Thursday at 6:08 a.m

Publix’s vaccine sign-up website is being upgraded with new features — aimed at keeping people better informed about their progress in trying to schedule appointments, including for the next sign-up this Friday.

In recent days, frustrated seniors have complained of sitting in front of their computers long before dawn, anxious to get a spot for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Publix website. But many seniors said they couldn’t get past a virtual waiting room, while also not having any idea whether they even had a chance at the scarce number of vaccines.

Publix on Wednesday said it has added a countdown clock to the website so customers can verify that their web page is refreshing. And the number of available appointments by each county throughout the state now shows on the website and is constantly refreshed and updated.

— By Lisa J. Huriash / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

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

More-Contagious COVID Variant Concentrated In South Florida But Widespread, Data Shows

Updated Thursday at 6:00 a.m

An emerging and more-contagious version of the COVID virus is circulating in 19 Florida counties, spanning the Panhandle to South Florida, new data indicates, and Miami-Dade and Broward counties had the highest number of known cases.

The Florida Department of Health says it is now examining about 200 samples of the COVID virus on average every week to look for mutations in the virus, roughly quadrupling the pace it had set during the course of the pandemic, according to information the agency provided to the Miami Herald on Wednesday.

Florida health officials first announced on New Year’s Day that a man with no travel history had acquired the U.K. strain, or B.1.1.7, in Martin County. Researchers have examined about 500 samples of the virus starting in late December from patients throughout the state and found 92 cases of the strain, which is thought to be significantly more contagious and slightly deadlier than the initial version of the virus.

— By Ben Conarck / The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

COVID-19 Protocols And Fan Cutouts Are Some Of The Changes To See At Super Bowl 55

Updated Thursday at 5:54 a.m

All the usual preparations for a Super Bowl are taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

But this year’s game comes with a unique twist: it’s the first Super Bowl played with COVID-19 protocols in place.

Super Bowl 55 comes about a year after the novel coronavirus pandemic began dominating the world and RayJay will see safety protocols for both players and fans from keeping it from becoming a super spreader event.

— By Jason Dill / The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.