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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Adds More Than 4,500 New Cases, 71 New Resident Deaths

The Miami Herald
People line up to receive a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the pop-up vaccination site at 16th Street beach on the sand on Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Miami Beach. The one-time vaccination site, made possible by Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, had up to 250 Johnson & Johnson shots to administer.

This post will be updated today, Thursday, May 6, 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 4,500 New Cases, 71 New Resident Deaths

Updated Thursday at 4:20 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 4,504 positive cases of COVID-19 Thursday. The state has a total of 2,258,433 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Thursday's update also included the announcement of 71 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 35,549. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 36,257.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 11,942 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 49 deaths due to COVID-19.

— WLRN News

Miami Beach Suspends COVID Orders, Announces Return Of In-person Commission Meetings

Updated Thursday at 6:10 a.m.

Two days after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all local COVID-19 restrictions suspended, Miami Beach announced Wednesday it had canceled its remaining emergency measures — including mask requirements at businesses, a ban on retail alcohol sales after 10 p.m. and room occupancy limits for short-term rentals.

In a memo, City Manager Alina T. Hudak wrote that she does not plan to impose any new emergency measures, but would retain the city’s declaration of a state of emergency to preserve its eligibility for federal reimbursements.

“Even though we are suspending our Emergency Order, it’s in everyone’s best interest to continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing,” she later said in a statement. “We have made great strides in our fight against COVID-19, but we have not yet reached the finish line.”

— By Martin Vassolo / The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

NSU Backs Off On Requiring Vaccinations, Now That Florida Outlawed It

Updated Thursday at 6:05 a.m.

Nova Southeastern University will no longer require all staff and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy established last month that would violate Florida’s new ban on vaccine passports.

Florida lawmakers finalized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban last week, permanently banning COVID-19 vaccine passports. The governor’s ban stymied the private nonprofit university’s plans, which were the first in the nation to require all students and staff to be vaccinated, NSU spokesman Joe Donzelli said.

“Nova Southeastern University was hoping for the ability to require COVID-19 vaccinations where possible to further protect the NSU Florida community,” the school’s president George L. Hanbury wrote in a statement. “However, due to a new Florida law, the university is unable to maintain such a policy.”

— By Brooke Baitinger / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

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

Palm Beach County Schools Will Reopen Playgrounds, End Mask Use Outdoors Amid Growing Parent Outcry

Updated Thursday at 6:00 a.m.

Palm Beach County public schools will reopen their playgrounds this week and make clear to administrators that children exercising outside no longer should wear facial coverings, district officials decided Wednesday.

Pressured by school board members, Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy agreed at a board meeting to lift a ban on using playground equipment and clarify that students no longer need to wear masks while exercising outdoors.

The move comes as board members receive a barrage of requests from parents to loosen mask requirements and state officials act to limit local governments’ ability to require them.

— By Andrew Marra / The Palm Beach Post

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

Cruise Lines Can Apply To Sail With Volunteer Passengers After New CDC Guidelines

Updated Thursday at 5:55 a.m.

Cruise business in the U.S. could be back in the water soon after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the final guidelines for ships to perform trial voyages with volunteer passengers that would demonstrate their COVID-19 safety protocols.

At the same time, the CDC gave cruise lines a workaround to simulated voyages if they committed to requiring vaccinations from most of its crew and passengers.

All major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Disney, Norwegian and Carnival, have not been able to sail from U.S. ports because of the pandemic since March 2020. The extended halt in the cruise industry has severely impacted Port Canaveral, PortMiami and Port Everglades, from which nearly 60% of all sailings depart.

Read more at our news partner the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

— By Richard Tribou / Orlando Sentinel