This post will be updated today, Wednesday, April 1, 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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Death Toll Reaches 16 In Palm Beach County; Positive Tests Hit Nearly 20 percent In Miami-Dade
Wednesday, April 1, updated at 12:50 p.m.
Palm Beach County continues to lead the state in the number of people who have died from the new coronavirus, as Wednesday morning’s count lists 16 victims.
There have been 12 deaths in Broward and seven in Miami-Dade, contributing to the new total of 87 dead across Florida. The total number of cases is nearly 7,000, and 890 people are being treated at hospitals.
As testing for the new coronavirus in Miami-Dade County is increasing daily, officials report that about two out of every 10 people tested there are positive for infections. That’s a lot more on average than anywhere else in Florida.
— Marc Freeman / Sun Sentinel
Non-COVID Health Services In Monroe Available By Appointment Only
Wednesday, April 1, updated at 12:30 p.m.
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County is offering the following services by appointment only through the end of April 2020. All locations are otherwise closed to the general public and to those without an appointment.
For the Women, Infants and Children program: call 305-676-3852 in Key West and 305-676-3933 for Marathon and Tavernier.
Immunizations are offered at the Gato Building, 1100 Simonton St., Key West and Roth Building, 50 High Point Rd., Tavernier, by appointment only. Call 305-293-7500.
For Healthy Start, call 305-676-3841. For Vital Statistics, including birth and death records, applications accepted Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only. Call 305-676-3840. Environmental Health is by appointment only, call 305-676-3941 or email Ingrid.White@FLHealth.gov. Services available include onsite sewage treatment and disposal system programs, water sampling, facilities programs, and sanitary nuisance complaints.
For the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, clients who currently pick up meds from the health department will be delivered by appointment instead. Call 305-619-2998 or 305-676-3811. The state helpline is 844-381-2327. For other services, including epidemiology, STDs, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, family planning, and tuberculosis, call the main line: 305-293-7500.
— Nancy Klingener
Second man dies from coronavirus after attending Winter Party in Miami Beach
Wednesday, April 1, updated at 9 a.m.
A second man who attended the recent Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach, an annual fundraising event for the LGBTQ community, has died of COVID-19, according to festival organizers.
“The National LGBTQ Task Force is mourning the passing of a loyal volunteer, Ron Rich, who succumbed to COVID-19 over the weekend,” the National LGBTQ Task Force said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “Ron was a familiar face to the guests who attended the Task Force Gala, Winter Party Festival and our Fort Lauderdale house parties over the past five years as his big smile and warmth had him mostly serving on our hospitality team.“
The Winter Party Festival , held March 4-10, drew thousands of gay men to Miami Beach. The festival is a fundraiser for the task force.
At least nine people who attended the festival have tested positive for COVID-19. Israel Carrera, a 40-year-old who lived in North Miami and attended the festival, contracted the virus and died from it on Thursday. He was Miami-Dade’s first reported COVID-19 death.
— Devoun Cetoute / Miami Herald
Another cruise ship with sick people aboard is headed for Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, April 1, updated at 9 a.m.
Another cruise ship with sick people on board is planning to disembark in Fort Lauderdale, as the U.S. Coast Guard considers sequestering ships “indefinitely” to deal with increased demand for medical evacuations from the fleet of cruise ships creeping off South Florida’s coast with nowhere to go.
The Coast Guard is now directing ships registered in the Bahamas to seek aid from that country first, even if the ships are owned by U.S.-based companies. The agency simply can’t keep up with the strain on its resources, according to a public memo.
The Coast Guard says ships carrying more than 50 persons on board should prepare to care for those aboard with influenza-like illnesses "for an indefinite period of time” rather than relying on the Coast Guard to evacuate sick passengers.
Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess has a “higher-than-normal” number of people with flu-like symptoms and plans to bring them to Port Everglades on April 4 following a service call in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Tuesday night, the cruise line said in a statement released Tuesday.
— Ron Hurtibise, Lisa J. Huriash and Brooke Baitinger / Sun Sentinel