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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Cases Hit Nearly 15,000; Death Toll Nears 300, With 42 New Deaths

This post will be updated today, Tuesday, April 7, with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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WLRN staff continues to add to community resource lists, including this article on where kids and families can get food while schools are closed, and this post about whether and where to get tested for the coronavirus.

The dedicated website for the Florida Department of Health, including information about symptoms and 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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QUICK UPDATES

Florida Cases Hit Nearly 15,000; Death Toll Nears 300, With 42 New Deaths

Tuesday, April 7, updated at 8:30 p.m.

Florida reported 1,118 new cases of COVID-19 and 42 related deaths since Monday night, almost matching the state’s highest number of new deaths since early April at 43, state officials said Tuesday evening.

The state’s Department of Health Tuesday evening report said there were 14,747 confirmed cases statewide, with the death toll at 296. Health officials reported 243 additional cases and 13 new deaths since Tuesday morning.

Twenty-six of the new deaths since Monday night were in South Florida

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.

— Michelle Marchante and Devoun Cetoute

Key West Arrests Man On Vacation Rental Charge

Tuesday, April 7, updated at 2 p.m.

Key West has made its first arrest in what the city calls "an increasing effort" to crack down on illegal vacation rentals.

Michael McMahon, who owns three properties in Key West, was arrested and presented a notice to appear for illegally renting through Air BnB, according a press release. He is charged with violating a state order prohibiting vacation rentals in the state of Florida. He is also charged with a local ordinance violation because he was operating without a transient rental permit. Both are second-degree misdemeanors.

McMahon, 66, of Key West, is a repeat offender who owes the city about $1.2 million in fines, according to the city.

Under normal rules, renting for less than a month requires a special license from the city and those are limited in number and to certain neighborhoods.

The Keys closed to visitors because of the coronavirus on March 22.

— Nancy Klingener

Coronavirus Cases In State Surpass 14,000, With 22 Of 29 New Deaths In South Florida

Tuesday, April 7, updated at 12 p.m.

Florida’s Department of Health on Tuesday morning confirmed 875 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the state to 14,504. There were 29 new deaths reported, with a total of 283 statewide.

Twenty-two of the new deaths were in South Florida. Four were in Miami-Dade, six in Broward and 12 were in Palm Beach counties. With the new deaths, Miami-Dade’s death toll stands at 45. Broward’s death toll is 53 and Palm Beach, 63.

The other deaths were in Brevard, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, St. Lucie and Sumter counties.

Of the new confirmed cases, 851 are Florida residents and 24 are non-residents who were diagnosed or isolated in the state. Of the statewide total of confirmed cases, 14,504 are Florida residents. Health officials say 1,719 people are hospitalized in the state.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.

— Michelle Marchante / Miami Herald

Florida's COVID-19 Peak Expected By Late April, New Data

Tuesday, April 7, updated at 7 a.m.

Florida's peak of coronavirus infections are now expected to peak on April 21, two weeks earlier than originally anticipated, according to new data by University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

The new numbers also show Florida peaking higher than expected. The model previously projected a peak in early May with 136 deaths. Now, the peak in late April shows 242 deaths per day.

The new model from the University of Washington reflects the effects of social distancing and the use of limited hospital resources. 

The Sun Sentinel reports that on April 21 the state's medical supplies will be stretched to their fullest. 

The data shows that about 13,168 hospital beds, out of the state's 20,184 beds, will be in use.

The demand for ventilators will be at 2,095 and the state will fall short on ICU beds by about 769. The Florida Department of Emergency Management said the state would have enough ICU beds and ventilators in place to meet peak demand, although that was before Monday's new numbers.

The model shows a possible total death toll of 6,774 people by June 1, by then the institute expects an end to daily deaths from the virus in Florida.

The numbers in these models are only approximate calculations and as more data becomes available predictions may change.

-Leslie Ovalle

Two ICE Workers In Miami-Dade Test Positive For COVID-19

Tuesday, April 7, updated 6 a.m. 

Two people who work at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Miami-Dade, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

ICE officials confirmed Monday that the two staffers are self-quarantining at home. Both are employed by Akima Global Services, a government contractor operating the Krome detention center in Southwest Miami-Dade.

The agency did not disclose when the infected workers were on the premises last or whether any detainees were exposed.

“Detainees are being tested for the virus in line with CDC guidance. In some cases, medical staff at ICE detention facilities are collecting specimens from ICE detainees for processing at a commercial or public health lab. In other cases, including when a detainee requires a higher level of care, they are sent to a local hospital and may be tested at the discretion of the treating provider at the hospital. At this point no detainees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Krome,” officials said in a statement to the Miami Herald.

ICE has published online the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases among its detainees and federal employees nationwide. However, those numbers don't include third-party contractors who work in their facilities. 

-Leslie Ovalle