COVID-19

Matias Ocner / Miami Herald

Many businesses have closed to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Local governments and the state are allowing some essential services to remain open. That includes grocery stores, pharmacies and other places needed to keep cities and towns running.

Álvaro Callama is struggling to survive an economic double whammy.

A Venezuelan electrician, he fled his homeland two years ago amid a devastating economic crisis that left him too poor to buy food. He moved to neighboring Colombia, where Callama — nothing if not resourceful — worked three jobs: picking fruit, laying bricks and guiding tourists on horseback rides.

JASON VORHEES / NORTH CENTRAL HEALTH DISTRICT

This post will be updated today, Friday, April 3 and through the weekend, with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

During his Thursday night briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump repeated a claim that the United States has done more testing for the contagion on a per capita basis than any other country.

Updated at 8:28 a.m. ET

People who do not have direct deposit information on file with the Internal Revenue Service may have to wait up to 20 weeks to receive cash payments included in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation, according to a memo drafted by House Democrats.

The Trump administration is set to recommend that people who live in areas with high transmission of the coronavirus wear masks in public to avoid further spread of the virus, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Mayors in New York and Los Angeles have already urged people in their cities to use face coverings in public.

President Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that he was waiting for guidance from public health experts on whether people should wear masks in public.

Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET

Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as "Zoombombing," in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It's a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.

Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.

Medical rationing is not something Americans are accustomed to, but COVID-19 may soon change that.

The specter of rationing is most imminent in New York City, where the virus is spreading rapidly and overwhelming hospitals with patients.

According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state has 2,200 ventilators in its state stockpile. Current COVID-19 case projections suggest the state may not have enough of the machines, which help critically ill people breathe, as soon as next week.

AL DIAZ / Miami Herald

Two inmates in Broward County have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The two cases mark the first time inmates in county jails in South Florida have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

BY JOSH_CAVAZOS97 VIA STORYFUL | RICHARD MUNROE VIA STORYFUL / Miami Herald

On this Thursday, April 2, episode of Sundial:

 

Lieutenant governor breaks down the statewide ‘stay at home’ order

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a statewide order for people to leave home only for essential services or work for the next 30 days. 

Updated at 10:38 a.m. ET

The number of new people claiming unemployment benefits totaled a staggering 6.648 million last week — doubling the record set a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In the prior week, ending March 21, a revised 3.307 million initial claims were filed.

In just two weeks, nearly all of the jobs gained in the last five years have been lost.

The nationwide move to close churches, synagogues and mosques as part of the broader effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus is meeting some new resistance.

In a new "safer-at-home" order banning many activities, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Wednesday said "attending religious services" is among the "essential" activities that would be permitted. The order came two days after the arrest of a Tampa pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, who held worship services in defiance of a local ban on large gatherings. That ban is now effectively overruled.

International climate change negotiations scheduled for later this year are being postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. United Nations officials say a conference is no longer possible, delaying what many hoped would be an ambitious climate agreement among nations.

MATIAS J. OCNER / MIAMI HERALD

This post will be updated today, Thursday, April 2, with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

President Trump last weekend raised — and then dropped — the idea of placing residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under a quarantine to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus outside of the nation's hardest-hit region.

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