This post will be updated today, Friday, April 3 and through the weekend, 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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New Testing Center Opening In Delray Beach
Updated at 4:45 p.m. Sunday April 5
Palm Beach County and the Cleveland Clinic are opening a new drive-through testing site at the South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach.
Appointments are required. To go through screening, call 561-804-0250 starting at 10 a.m. Monday.
Third Coral Princess Passenger Dies from COVID-19
Updated at 12:20 p.m. Sunday, April 5
A third passenger from the cruise ship Coral Princess has died from COVID-19. Wilson Maa, 71, passed away late Saturday night at Larkin Community Hospital, according to his daughter Julie Maa on Twitter.
The Coral Princess was allowed to dock at Port Miami on Saturday because many of its passengers and crew had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus — and two passengers had already died. Maa had inexplicably had to wait hours for an ambulance to move him to Larkin after the ship docked.
Maa's wife, Toyling Maa, has also been infected and was awaiting an ambulance Sunday morning to be taken off the ship and admitted to a local hospital.
Miami Herald: Florida Cases Of COVID-19 Top 12,000
Updated at 12:10 p.m. Sunday, April 5
Broward and Palm Beach counties accounted for almost the entire rise in Florida’s death toll in a Sunday morning state update on the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard figures showed another 606 confirmed cases were added overnight, bringing the state total to 12,151, and another 23 deaths, bringing the state total to 218. Of those deaths, 22 were in Palm Beach (14) and Broward (eight).
That means Miami-Dade (31), Broward (40), Palm Beach (49) and Monroe (two) counties account for 56.0 percent of the COVID-19 deaths in Florida. Their 6,973 confirmed cases are 57.4 percent of the state’s total.
Read more from our news partners at the Miami Herald
Miami-Dade To Open New Testing Center In Cutler Bay
Updated at 2:55 p.m. Saturday, April 4
A new drive-through coronavirus testing center is scheduled to open Sunday at the South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay, FL, 33189.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced the opening Saturday at a news conference. The center will be open only to people who have made an appointment in advance.
The number to call for appointments is 305-499-8767. That’s also the number to call for a drive-through appointment at Marlins Park.
Coral Princess Docks In Miami With Two Dead Aboard
Updated at 12:10 p.m. Saturday, April 4
Two people have died aboard the Coral Princess, which docked in Port Miami Saturday morning.
The Captain announced the updates to passengers Saturday morning, said Shannon Kilbane, a passenger from California.
Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp., confirmed in a statement the ship was headed to Miami Saturday morning but did not mention the deaths aboard.
Read more from our news partners at the Miami Herald
Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Dies Of COVID-19
Updated at 9 a.m., Saturday, April 4
A veteran deputy at with the Broward Sheriff’s Office died late Friday of the coronavirus, just a week after being diagnosed with the disease.
The Sheriff’s Office announced the deputy’s death Saturday morning and planned to release more information at a news conference.
The deputy, not identified in a news release, had worked for the agency for 12 years.
Read more from our news partners at the Sun-Sentinel
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez First COVID-19 Patient To Donate Plasma
Updated at 4:52 p.m.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has recovered from the coronavirus and is the first person in Florida to become a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor. His donation will be used to help a critically ill coronavirus patient in Florida.
COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an experimental treatment that has been approved by the FDA to be used on an emergency basis to help people with life-threatening coronavirus infections.
The Mayor donated his plasma with OneBlood, one of the largest not-for-profit blood centers in the country serving Florida, North Carolina and other parts of the southeastern United States. Just days earlier OneBlood had announced it would begin collecting plasma from people who recovered from the coronavirus and who meet the FDA qualifications to be a donor.
Florida Coronavirus Deaths Are Higher Than Numbers In Official Reports
Updated at 11:55 a.m.
Florida’s death count from COVID-19 likely stands significantly higher than the official number, indicating the disease is taking a more severe toll than thought, according to interviews with experts and information from local officials.
The number of dead in Florida stood at 144 Thursday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
But medical examiners in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, who represent the hardest-hit part of Florida, have flagged 59 additional deaths that may have resulted from the disease and for which they’re awaiting test results. Although a few of these may have been included in the Thursday evening death count, this figure represents a significant backlog that is certain to raise the total.
Read more at our news partners the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Florida Tops 9,000 In COVID-19 Cases; First Death In Monroe County
Friday, April 3, updated at 7 a.m.
A 55-year-old Key West man died Thursday of COVID-19-related complications as the state's total number of confirmed cases climbed to 9,008, according to state health department officials,
The man, identified as Keith White on Facebook, is the first coronavirus related death reported in the Florida Keys.
White had an "underlying health condition" and died at the Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Alison Kerr, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health in Monroe County, told the Miami Herald.
The state still has zero deaths listed for Monroe on their COVID-19 dashboard, as of 7 a.m. Friday.
Monroe County has the lowest numbers of reported cases in South Florida with a total of 38 cases and seven hospitalizations.
Miami-Dade County continues to lead with 2,886 reported cases, 20 deaths and 200 hospitalizations.
Broward County has 1,481 reported cases, 17 deaths and 155 hospitalizations.
Palm Beach County has 737 reported cases, 27 deaths and 105 hospitalizations.
The state reported 16 new deaths statewide on Thursday, bringing the death toll up to 144.
The numbers being reported on COVID-19 statewide and locally continue to grow as testing becomes more available throughout the state.