Coronavirus Live Updates: Sunday COVID-19 Numbers In Same Range As Last Week
This post will be updated today, Friday, March 19, and through the weekend 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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Sunday Report: 3,987 New Cases, 32 Deaths
Updated at 3:45 p.m. Sunday
The Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 3,987 new confirmed cases and 32 total deaths Sunday, case and death numbers in the same range as last Sunday.
Sunday usually the day with the lowest case numbers and death toll because data tends to be collected and entered at a lower rate on the weekends. This week’s numbers show 300 more people testing positive and one more person dying than on last Sunday’s report.
For the pandemic, Florida reports 2,008,349 cases, 32,742 resident deaths and 33,369 total deaths.
— David J. Neal / Miami Herald
Read more from our news partner the Miami Herald
Florida Adds More Than 5,100 New Cases, 53 New Resident Deaths
Updated Friday at 3:35 p.m.
Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 5,140 positive cases of COVID-19 Friday. The state has a total of 1,999,257 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.
Friday update also included the announcement of 53 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 32,651. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 33,273.
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 10,891 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 48 deaths due to COVID-19.
— WLRN News
Citing Slowdown, Miami-Dade Opening Its Vaccination Sites To 40+ On March 29
Updated Friday at 10:50 a.m.
Miami-Dade’s county-run vaccination sites will open to anyone 40 and over on March 29, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday, setting up a more permissive criteria than what Gov. Ron DeSantis has so far allowed.
The news still gives Florida a week to match — or exceed — Miami-Dade’s invitation to younger residents to get vaccinated. DeSantis on Friday said he was moving the statewide age limit to 50 and above on Monday and planned to continue lowering the age restrictions in the coming weeks. Levine Cava said county sites would also open to 50 and over on Monday, and would always be at least as permissive as the state rules.
Miami-Dade runs three appointment-only vaccination sites, at Tropical Park, Zoo Miami and the Homestead Sports Complex. People of any age can sign up for the waiting list at miamidade.gov/vaccine.
Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.
— By Douglas Hanks / Miami Herald
People 50 And Older Can Get COVID Vaccine In Florida Starting Monday
Updated Friday at 9:45 a.m.
People 50 and older will be eligible for COVID vaccines in Florida starting Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.
The announcement at a news conference in Tallahassee comes amid fears of a fourth wave of infections nationwide and evidence that vaccination sign-ups have been lagging at some sites.
“We think we’ve done pretty good this week with 60 to 64, but quite frankly with think that even with current vaccine allotments that opening it up will be good,” DeSantis said. “I think the demand has been relatively modest, certainly much more modest than it was at the end of December when we were doing 65 and plus.”
All age restrictions on vaccine eligibility will be lifted soon, DeSantis said.
Read more at our news partner the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
— By David Fleshler / Sun Sentinel
FEMA Vaccine Sites Wind Down In Florida As Vaccine Supply Tightens
Updated Friday at 6:32 a.m
The FEMA vaccine mega-sites are winding down in Florida while projections for the next two weeks call for tighter vaccine supplies, officials said Thursday.
South Florida’s federally supported site at Miami Dade College’s North Campus, which has been vaccinating thousands of people per day, will stop giving first doses starting next week, officials said on Thursday. The rotating mini-sites, which have been shifting locations by the week and are currently in Cutler Bay and Liberty City, will also pivot to second doses only.
“The important message here is if you need a vaccine and you meet the criteria, do not wait,” FEMA spokesman Mike Jachles said in a press conference Thursday, “because by mid-week next week, we will transition to second vaccines only. So you cannot get the first vaccines at the FEMA-supported sites.”
Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.
— By Ben Conarck, Michael Wilner and Bianca Padró Ocasio / The Miami Herald
What Happens If You Don’t Wear A Mask In Key West? There’s Been A Change
Updated Friday at 6:30 a.m
Despite packed streets and spring break crowds, Key West has stopped enforcing a strict law that requires people to wear masks in public.
Miami-Dade made a similar decision several days ago, but reversed itself on Thursday. The county’s police department now says it will resume enforcing a mask and curfew law despite an executive order from the governor that cancels fines.
Key West has been drawing thicker crowds of tourists for months despite the pandemic. The island now is now in peak season with an extra layer of spring break visitors.
Read more from our news partner at FL Keys News.
— By Gwen Filosa / FL Keys News