This post will be updated today, Wednesday, May 6, 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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COVID-19 Antibody Testing Coming To Hard Rock Stadium
Updated Wednesday at 12:35 p.m.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens will begin testing for COVID-19 antibodies, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday.
“The problem is that you may be negative today and you could potentially catch it three days from now, so a diagnostic test is a snapshot in time,” he said during a news conference at the stadium, where the state has been operating a drive-thru testing site. “What we’re adding to this site, and we’re gonna add to other sites over the course of the week, is serological testing.”
The state plans to establish this effort in Orlando and Jacksonville, too.
DeSantis said this antibody testing, which is set to begin this week, will initially be given to first responders and health care workers.
According to the CDC, it can take one to three weeks after infection to make antibodies, and it’s not known if they protect people from getting infected again, or how long that protection might last.
DeSantis also announced that the state is launching its first mobile testing lab. He said it will test whether people are positive or negative for the virus within 45 minutes. DeSantis said a mobile lab could also help contain potential outbreaks at places that house vulnerable populations – namely long-term care facilities.
Free COVID-19 Testing In Key West On Monday, May 11
Updated Wednesday at 11:48 a.m.
Community Health of South Florida, which already offers free drive-through COVID-19 testing in Marathon on Saturdays, is offering free tests on Monday in Key West.
The walk-up testing will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Frederick Douglass gymnasium, 111 Olivia St.
You must be a Monroe County resident with ID and meet the testing criteria. No appointment is necessary.
The criteria are: recent travel to a high-risk country, contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you are experiencing fever, coughing or shortness of breath. If you don't meet the criteria, CHI is offering free tele-health consultation and follow-up testing for antibodies to those who register as a CHI patient.
CHI's drive-through testing site at 2805 Overseas Highway in Marathon is open from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. It is open to Monroe County residents who meet the testing criteria and requires an appointment. Call first (305)216-2107 or email KeysCovid19@chisouthfl.org(opens in new tab).
Statewide Coronavirus Cases Grow To More Than 38,000
Updated Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.
The state has more than 38,000 cases of COVID-19 as Florida’s Department of Health confirmed an additional 563 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning. Florida has a total of 38,002 confirmed cases.
Wednesday's update also included the announcement of 68 new deaths, increasing the statewide number to 1,539. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties make up 866 of those reported deaths. Monroe County has reported three deaths due to COVID-19.
Palm Beach County Considers Reopening Before Broward and Miami-Dade
Updated Wednesday at 8 a.m.
A coordinated reopening effort among South Florida’s counties began to show cracks Tuesday when Palm Beach County commissioners argued that the county should open more quickly — starting with the beaches.
The county plans to ask Gov. Ron DeSantis for permission to join the rest of the state, outside South Florida, in a partial reopening from coronavirus restrictions, allowing restaurants and many other businesses to operate at 25% capacity.
The move would break from plans for Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties to coordinate their reopening plans to ensure that one county doesn’t get overwhelmed with visitors from another.
Read more at the Sun Sentinel.
-Austen Erblat and Anthony Man / Sun Sentinel