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Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Has Third Day Of Low Reported Cases; Thousands Of Tests Pending

A closed until further notice sign is erected in front of Peacock Park in Coconut Grove, Florida on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

This post will be updated today, Thursday, April 16, 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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Florida Has Third Day Of Low Reported Cases; Thousands Of Tests Pending

Thursday, April 16, updated at 8:30 p.m.

The Florida Department of Health reported 821 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide since Wednesday evening, marking the third consecutive day new cases haven’t been reported in the 1,000s, although thousands of pending tests may be skewing the results.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, as of Thursday evening, rose to 23,340, a 4 percent increase since Wednesday evening. Florida ranks eighth in the country in terms of number of cases. 

State health officials also reported 54 new deaths since Wednesday evening, bringing the state death toll to 668, a 9 percent increase.

Of the 54 new deaths, 40 were in South Florida.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.

— Michelle Marchante and Devoun Cetoute / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade Libraries To Provide More Aid Forms

Thursday, April 16, updated 4:40 p.m.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Miami-Dade libraries will expand services, Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Thursday.

Gimenez said people will now be able to pick up other aid forms at 26 libraries that have already been distributing and receiving forms for unemployment benefits.

The new batch of applications includes the Food Assistance Program (or SNAP), Medicaid and Temporary Cash Assistance. These forms can be mailed, faxed or dropped off at participating libraries or at a Florida Department of Children and Families drop box.

The forms will be available starting Friday. Also on Friday, Miami-Dade libraries will have new hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

— Alexander Gonzalez

Florida Cases Pass 22,800 As Death Toll Jumps To 633

Thursday, April 16, updated 11:30 a.m.

Florida’s Department of Health on Thursday morning confirmed 378 additional cases of COVID-19 as the state continues to inch closer to 23,000 confirmed cases. The state now has a total of 22,897 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 19 deaths announced, raising the toll to 633.

All but one of the deaths were in South Florida. 

Eight people died in Miami-Dade, raising the county’s death toll to 163 — the highest in the state. Broward reported seven deaths, pushing the county’s death toll past the 100-mark at 101. Three additional deaths were announced in Palm Beach County, raising the county’s death count to 110.

Of the total statewide cases, 22,235 are Florida residents and 662 are non-residents who were diagnosed or isolated in the state.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.

— Michelle Marchante / Miami Herald

Gov. DeSantis Makes New 'Reopening' Task Force As COVID-19 Deaths Top 600

Thursday, April 16, updated 7:15 a.m.

As South Florida’s hospitals continued to grapple with COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths, Florida’s politicians are plotting a path to reopen society without reigniting the outbreak that has forced schools, businesses and transit hubs into a prolonged lockdown.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that, with social distancing measures on track to prevent an overwhelming spike in cases, he would establish a task force to help map Florida’s return to normalcy. He made the announcement as the state released new information showing more than 22,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 614 deaths — including 359 in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties.

“It obviously is prudent to start thinking about and planning getting people back to work and getting society functioning in a more healthy way,” DeSantis said. “There are a whole host of things we need to be thinking about.”

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.

-David Smiley / Miami Herald