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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Adds More Than 1,900 New Cases, 58 New Resident Deaths

International student/athlete Nils Buecheler, 20, left, gets his vaccination shot by UF pharmacy student Jason Rodriguez, right, at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami, Florida. On Thursday, April15, 2021, Jackson launched a COVID-19 vaccination initiative with colleges and universities in Miami-Dade County, which include Barry University, Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College and University of Miami. Through this partnership, students who are Florida residents, as well as out-of-state and international students, are allowed to sign up for a COVID vaccine appointment via our online portal.
The Miami Herald
Publix announced that it will no longer require fully vaccinated shoppers and workers to wear facial coverings starting May 15, 2021.

This post will be updated today, Monday, May 17, 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.

To receive WLRN's coronavirus updates newsletter on Wednesdays and Saturdays, sign up here.


Florida Adds More Than 1,900 New Cases, 58 New Resident Deaths

Updated Monday at 4:55 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 1,976 positive cases of COVID-19 Monday. The state has a total of 2,293,980 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Monday update also included the announcement of 58 new resident deaths, increasing the statewide number of Floridians who died to 36,133. Factoring in non-resident deaths the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 36,857.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 12,157 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported 49 deaths due to COVID-19.

— WLRN News

COVID-sniffing Dogs, Masks, Smaller Crowds: South Beach Food Festival Prepares For The Pandemic

Updated Monday at 12:42 p.m.

CNN’s cameras will be watching when guests arrive for the first food festival in America during a pandemic.

Dogs trained to detect COVID-19 symptoms will be sniffing the tens of thousands of guests entering the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which runs for four days starting on May 20. And a massive staff, including 1,500 Florida International University hospitality students, will be checking temperatures, enforcing masks and continuously sanitizing as they volunteer during a festival that will draw an estimated 20,000 people to South Beach this week.

For its 20th anniversary, the festival finds itself reimagining what hospitality means in a time when the coronavirus continues to be a threat — especially for what is believed to be the largest gathering of people outside of the Super Bowl since the pandemic began.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

— By Carlos Frías/ The Miami Herald

Masks Are Now Optional At Publix — If You’re Vaccinated

Updated Monday at 6:00 a.m.

A steady wave of Florida’s biggest businesses are ditching mask orders one day after the CDC released new guidance saying masks aren’t necessary — as long as you’re fully vaccinated.

Publix will no longer require vaccinated customers or workers to wear masks inside grocery stores, unless they are required to by a state or local ordinance, the Lakeland-based grocer announced Friday. Universal Studios also changed its policy, saying masks are no longer required outdoors starting Saturday.

But if you’re not fully vaccinated? You’re still required to wear a face covering over your nose and mouth while inside any Publix store, the grocer said.

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

— By Brooke Baitinger / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

The Free Ride On Broward Buses Will Soon Be Over. Here’s What To Know

Updated Monday at 5:43 a.m.

The days of free fares on Broward buses will soon be over.

Beginning June 1, Broward will join Miami-Dade once again by charging riders to use a bus.

In March 2020, Broward County Transit suspended fares as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

— By Carli Teproff / The Miami Herald

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