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Coronavirus Live Updates: South Florida Universities Plan To Go Remote After Thanksgiving


This post will be updated today, Monday, June 15, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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 coronavirus.

The dedicated website for the Florida Department of Health, including information about symptoms and numbers of cases, can be found here.

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The dedicated website from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

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South Florida Universities Plan To Go Remote After Thanksgiving

Updated Monday at 4 p.m.

College students often go home for Thanksgiving and return to their campuses for finals. That won’t happen this year, at least not at the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton.

Both universities have decided to bring students back to campus in August but go remote after Thanksgiving break in an effort to limit possible transmission of the coronavirus.

UM, which is private, is starting a week early, on Aug. 17, to accommodate the schedule change.

Administrators from FAU — along with leaders of Florida International in Miami and the state’s 10 other public universities — will present broader reopening plans to the State University System’s board for approval next week.

Read UM’s announcement here.

Here’s a draft of FAU’s reopening plan.

—Jessica Bakeman/WLRN News

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Surpass 77,300

Updated Monday at 1 p.m.

Florida surpassed 77,300 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 1,758 cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Florida has a total of 77,326 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Monday's update also included the announcement of seven new deaths, increasing the statewide number to 2,938. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 1,613 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported four deaths due to COVID-19. 

— WLRN News

Coronavirus Shifts Palm Beach County Schools’ Annual Conference On African, African American Studies Online — And Open To Public

Updated Monday at 11:25 a.m.

Amid a global pandemic and a nationwide reckoning over racism and police violence against Black people, the School District of Palm Beach County is holding its annual symposium on African, African American and Caribbean studies online and open to the public.

The goal of the summer institute is to improve the educational experiences of Black students. National leaders in Black education provided video lectures for the conference, which began Monday. The videos are available on the district’s website and can be viewed anytime.

Superintendent Donald Fennoy said Black students enrolled in the district feel belonging and mutual understanding when they see a Black teacher at the front of the classroom or a Black administrator in the hallway.

“I’m sure that Black students say to themselves: … ‘When I open a history book that includes accomplishments and contributions of my people to society, that fills me with pride and inspires me to succeed,’” Fennoy, who is Black, said in a pre-recorded welcome message.

“That is the value of representation in our school system.”

About 28 percent of Palm Beach County public school students are Black, according to state data. That’s compared to 18 percent of teachers and about a third of administrators.

Watch the videos here.

—Jessica Bakeman/WLRN News

Hospital Beds Filling Up

Updated Monday 7:30 a.m.

The supply of available hospital beds in South Florida is getting tighter as a statewide surge in coronavirus is picking up.

In Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties — a region with a much higher rate of COVID-19 than the rest of the state — about 70% of intensive care unit beds, used for the sickest patients, were in use on Sunday.

General hospital beds also were about 70% occupied, according to numbers from the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Read more at the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

— Naseem S Miller, Steven Lemongello, Adelaide Chen, Anthony Man/ South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Inmate COVID cases pass 1,600

Updated Monday 7:30 a.m.

The number of COVID-19 cases among Florida prisoners has surpassed 1,600, state corrections officials reported Friday.

The inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, are concentrated in 13 prisons in various parts of the state. With 301 inmate cases, Homestead Correctional Institution has the highest number of cases in the state. Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol has 212 cases and Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper has 205 inmate cases.

As of Friday, corrections and health officials have conducted 15,472 tests on inmates, including 1,608 cases where the tests were positive. 

-The News Service of Florida