Updated July 16, 9:40 a.m. ET

The Trump Administration has mandated that hospitals sidestep the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send critical information about COVID-19 hospitalizations and equipment to a different federal database.

From the start of the pandemic, the CDC has collected data on COVID-19 hospitalizations, availability of intensive care beds and personal protective equipment. But hospitals must now report that information to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Walmart says shoppers must wear masks inside its stores starting Monday — the largest retailer to join a growing list of companies making face covering mandatory across the nation.

Israel Shippy doesn't remember much about having COVID-19 – or the unusual auto-immune disease it triggered – other than being groggy and uncomfortable for a bunch of days. He's a five-year-old, and would much rather talk about cartoons, or the ideas for inventions that constantly pop into his head.

"Hold your horses, I think I know what I'm gonna make," he says, holding up a finger in the middle of a conversation. "I'm gonna make something that lights up and attaches to things with glue, so if you don't have a flashlight, you can just use it!"

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

This post will be updated today, Wednesday, July 15, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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Reversal Eases Uncertainty For International Students

Jul 15, 2020
Miami Herald

The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded rules that could have put thousands of foreign students in Florida at risk of deportation if their fall semester classes were held entirely online during the coronavirus pandemic.

The policy reversal was announced a little over a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said foreign students would not be allowed to remain in the country if their universities and colleges offered only online classes to them.

Screenshot from Zoom

Band was the last period of the day, and the anticipation kept Valeria Valera going through her other classes.

“When I think about school, what motivates me to go to school is usually band class,” said Valeria, 13, a rising eighth grader at Rickards Middle School in Fort Lauderdale. “And it’s at the end of the day, so I have to wait all day.”


Florida registered another 132 deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 4,409. Florida has seen the highest number of deaths in a day for any state in the country and on Sunday, registered the highest daily number of new coronavirus cases.


Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala has called on Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to implement a two-week stay at home order. 

As the Palm Beach County school district decides how to open schools this year, the county’s health director is raising concerns about child safety amid the pandemic. She says the positivity rate for kids under 18 has gone up slightly. 

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

We are told to stay away from each other to stay safe. But staying away can be tough. From church services to pick-up soccer games, going boating or attending a protest; a lot of how we would connect with our communities has moved online. 

Anton Basenko is worried. He fears all the hard-won progress made in fighting the AIDS epidemic is on a collision course with the urgent needs of the coronavirus pandemic.

"For people with HIV, it's double, triple the crisis since the start of the lockdown," says the Ukrainian AIDS advocate. "I have a bad feeling that organizations and governments are so concentrated on COVID that they are completely forgetting about HIV. For marginalized people, it's a question of life and death."

Courtesy of Kristy Figueras

This post will be updated today, Tuesday, July 14, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

Officials Look To Bolster Supply Of COVID-19 Drug

Jul 14, 2020
News Service of Florida

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday he had received reports from several Florida hospitals in the previous 24 hours about a potential shortage of a key drug that has been used to help patients battling COVID-19.

“I am in contact with federal officials in hopes of addressing this matter immediately,” Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.

With coronavirus cases on the rise in southern and western states, U.S. military medical personnel are once again being called upon to help.

Army officials have announced that some 740 military health professionals are being sent to Texas and California.

The new deployments come several months after thousands of military medical personnel, including two hospital ships, one on each coast, were sent to help governors and mayors in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Fort Lauderdale Tells Homeless To Leave Motel, But Homeless Say They’ll Refuse To Leave

Jul 13, 2020
Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Fort Lauderdale’s plan to temporarily house homeless people at a motel may be ending Monday, according to a city memo.

This post will be updated today, Monday, July 13, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.