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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Adds More Than 5,885 New Cases, 42 New Resident Deaths

U.S. Dept. Of Defense.
The Palm Beach Post
A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card at Operation Warp Speed headquarters in Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, 2020. The cards will be sent out as part of vaccination kits from Operation Warp Speed.

This post will be updated today, Wednesday, April 7, 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 5,885 New Cases, 42 New Resident Deaths

Updated Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 5,885 positive cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. The state has a total of 2,096,747 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Wednesday's update also included the announcement of 42 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 33,822. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 34,476.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 11,318 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 49 deaths due to COVID-19.

— WLRN News

DeSantis' Vaccine Passport Ban Confounds Cruise Lines' Reopening Plans

Updated Wednesday at 6:00 a.m

An executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday that prohibits businesses from requiring customers to provide vaccination documents could effectively keep Florida's cruise industry from reopening.

DeSantis signed the order banning businesses from requiring "vaccination passports" — documents that prove a person has been vaccinated. However, proof of vaccinations for crew and passengers is now a requirement included in most cruise lines' safety plans. Mandatory vaccinations on cruise ships also aligns with safety protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Federal Maritime Commission.

”We believe that through a combination of 100% mandatory vaccinations for guests and crew and science-backed public health measures as developed by the Healthy Sail Panel... we can create a safe, ‘bubble-like’ environment for guests and crew," wrote Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a letter to the CDC on Monday.

— By Christine Stapleton and Wendy Rhodes / The Palm Beach Post

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

Florida Starts Vaccinating Inmates After Blocking Access For Months

Updated Wednesday at 5:45 a.m

Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to send COVID-19 vaccines to state prisoners for several months, but state officials announced Tuesday that about 30,000 doses have been earmarked for the Florida Department of Corrections.

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz told the Miami Herald the state is sending doses within the next week. Once supplies arrive, corrections officials have indicated that they have the ability to vaccinate all inmates who want a shot within 10 days.

Corrections officials have identified about 33,000 inmates who want to get the vaccine, Moskowitz said in an interview Tuesday. The state will also be assisting seven privately operated prisons in getting doses to inmates.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

— By Ana Ceballos / The Miami Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

Guests At Disney World Won’t Need To Mask Up Outside To Take Photos After Park Eases Rules

Updated Wednesday at 5:39 a.m

Returning to a maskless Disney World may not yet be on the horizon, but new changes make taking off your mask easier for guests at the resort often touted as the most magical place on earth.

Starting Thursday, visitors at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando are permitted to remove their mask to take outdoor photos, though it comes with a few rules.

Guests will have to be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing. These caveats are similar to other mask policies at the parks. Masks also can be taken off while guests are actively eating and drinking, but they still must be stationary or in an eating area.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

— By Devoun Cetoute / The Miami Herald