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Coronavirus Live Updates: Broward To Join Miami-Dade In Closing Beaches For Fourth of July Weekend

Matias J. Ocner
Miami Herald

This post will be updated today, Friday, June 26, and through the weekend with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

WLRN is committed to providing the trusted news and local reporting you rely on. Please keep WLRN strong with your support today. Donate now. Thank you.

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.

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

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Broward County Beaches Will Be Closed For The July Fourth Weekend, Mayor Says

Updated Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Broward County’s beaches will be closed for the Fourth of July weekend amid the surge of new coronavirus infections, Broward Mayor Dale V.C. Holness said Sunday morning.

Miami-Dade already announced plans to close its beaches for the holiday. And Palm Beach County might be next.

“In light of the closure of the beaches in Broward and Miami-Dade counties for the Fourth of July weekend, it is my position that to allow our beaches in Palm Beach County open during that time period would [be] highly irresponsible,” Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Sunday.

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

— Rafael Olmeda and Susannah Bryan/Sun Sentinel

Miami-Dade Reports More Than 2,000 COVID Cases 

Updated Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

The state of Florida has reported a total of 141,075 positive cases of COVID-19, with an additional 8,577 reported Sunday.

And 2,160 of those were in Miami-Dade County. Broward reported 584 new cases, Palm Beach County reported 462, and Monroe reported 16.

A total of 953 people in Miami-Dade have died from the disease. In Broward 382 people have died and in Palm Beach County 503 have died. Monroe County has reported four deaths.

-WLRN News

Keys Suspend Tourism Advertising

Updated Sunday at 9:15 a.m.

The Florida Keys tourism agency is suspending advertising starting Wednesday.

County officials requested the move on Friday, as COVID-19 cases climbed throughout South Florida.

The Keys have only three small hospitals, one of which is a temporary facility with four beds.

The Keys have been busy since lifting the checkpoint June 1 that only allowed in residents, workers and property owners. Several restaurants in Key West have closed after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Big crowds are expected for the Fourth of July holiday. In Marathon, Sombrero Beach will be closed all day on the Fourth but the fireworks display is still on. In Key West, the fireworks have been canceled but the beaches will be open.

-Nancy Klingener/WLRN News

They’re Living In A COVID-19 Hot Spot. A ‘Rapid-Response Team’ Just Visited The Area

Updated Saturday at 5:20 p.m.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins and her staff handed out supplies to residents in Little Havana most severely affected by rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

A member of Higgins’ team, who represents District 5, said Saturday’s effort was coordinated over two days.

“We need these people to know they live in a hot spot,” Higgins said. “They have to be careful. We cannot let our guard down. Case numbers are going up.”

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.
— Maya Lora/Miami Herald

Statewide Coronavirus Cases Increase By More Than 9,500 — Another Record Increase

Updated Saturday at 11:45 a.m.

Florida surpassed 130,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 9,585 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. Florida has a total of 132,545 confirmed positive cases, according to the state's health department.

Saturday's update also included the announcement of 24 new deaths, increasing the statewide number to 3,390. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 1,821 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported four deaths due to COVID-19. 

— WLRN News

Masks On, Fireworks Off in Key West

Updated Friday at 3:30 p.m.

In Key West, you're now required to wear a mask when on the premises of any business and also if you're out and about and you're within 6 feet of other people..."Unfortunately, we have some tourists who are coming to Key West and disrespecting our community, disrespecting our rules, failing to pay attention to what is really needed to help reduce the spread" of COVID-19, said Commissioner Sam Kaufman.

Read the rest of the story  from WLRN's Nancy Klingener.

State Supreme Court Upholds DeSantis' Emergency Powers During the Pandemic

Updated Friday at 12:30 p.m.

The Florida Supreme Court has  affirmed Governor DeSantis’s power to issue executive orders to address the COVID-19 pandemic. That ruling rejects a legal challenge filed last month.

Palm Beach County resident William Abramson challenged two executive orders that DeSantis issued on April 29 related to reopening the state’s economy.

But the Supreme Court ruled that the COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘natural emergency’ that Florida's Governor DOES have the right to address with executive orders.

-WLRN News


Florida suspends alcohol consumption at bars amid surging virus caseload

Updated Friday at 11:18 a.m. 

The Florida Department of Business and Regulatory affairs announced Friday it is suspending alcohol consumption at all bars statewide, amid a surging statewide coronavirus caseload.

The announcement was tweeted just before 11:30 a.m. by Department Secretary Haley Beshears. It was not immediately clear how the announcement would affect restaurants that serve alcohol, restaurants with bars that serve alcohol, or bars that serve food.

Earlier Friday, the state announced another record of reported COVID-19 cases.

Read more with our news partner, the Miami Herald.

- Ben Conarck and Daniel Chang / Miami Herald

NBA Worries About Season In Orlando

Updated Friday at 7 a.m.

A surge in the number of coronavirus cases in Florida has sparked concerns over the National Basketball Association’s plans to resume play next month at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Twenty-two teams plan to be housed at Disney resorts in Orange and Osceola counties. Orange County added 1,285 new cases over the past two days, and Osceola County saw 179 new cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed to resume professional sports in Florida, including the NBA.

But DeSantis’ administration has not spoken to the league during the past two days. “To the best of my knowledge, no one has spoken to the NBA,” Helen Aguirre Ferre, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, told The News Service of Florida on Thursday. 

News Service of Florida

U.S. Sets Daily Record

Updated Friday at 6:30 a.m.

With numbers spiking across southern states, the U.S. set a daily record for new COVID-19 cases Thursday in a return to figures not seen since late April.

According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, 40,401 new cases were recorded June 25, surpassing the previous record set April 24, which saw 36,291 new cases.

The U.S. continues to lead the world in both reported cases and deaths from the coronavirus. As of early June 26, the U.S. has recorded 2,422,310 cases and 124,416 deaths.

Read more at NPR.

Mark Katkov/NPR