With hospitals in places like Arizona running short on intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, health care officials must make critical decisions about which coronavirus patients get priority.

Some older adults are worried that the odds are stacked against them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports people over 65 years old make up 80% of COVID-19 deaths.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Contact tracing is a core disease control measure. When someone tests positive, a contact tracer will ask the infected patient for telephone numbers of people who may have been around them. That way, these contacts can isolate, too.

Critics say South Florida has too few tracers. Others say they're not asking enough questions. Regardless, gaps exist and are growing. 

Federal Pandemic Loans Flow To Florida Health Providers

Jul 7, 2020

TALLAHASSEE --- More than 4,600 health-care providers in Florida received at least $1.7 billion in interest-free federal loans meant to prevent massive job layoffs, a News Service of Florida review of data released by the federal government shows. 

The loans, which went to providers ranging from pediatricians to pharmacists to hospice providers and nearly everything in between, helped keep 200,000 jobs.

More widespread wearing of face masks could prevent tens of thousands of deaths by COVID-19, epidemiologists and mathematicians project.

A model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that near-universal wearing of cloth or homemade masks could prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the US before Oct. 1.

Dr. William Strudwick was finishing a shift at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University Hospital when his wife, Maria, texted. Their 19-year old son, Cole, wanted to join a protest five days after the killing of George Floyd.

It was 9 p.m. After dark, Strudwick weighed, he couldn't predict how protesters would act — or how police would treat his son. He wrote back one word to his wife: "No."

"When I came home, he was not there, and so I called him," Strudwick said. "And we had the conversation about him returning immediately."

Miami Herald

The way hospitals in Florida update their available intensive care unit beds to the state may change. The department wants hospitals to report only the number of COVID positive patients receiving ICU level of care - and not every single COVID patient in ICU. 

Before, hospitals would report the "current number of COVID positive patients admitted into ICU beds," according to an email from Florida's Department of Health to WLRN.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

Health care workers in South Florida took part in vigils and demonstrations last week and over the weekend to express concern over deaths of Black Americans, in particular, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Some providers told WLRN that they also worry about the unequal health care provided to Black patients.

Screengrab from website

The state's Agency for Health Care Administration lists five facilities that are known as COVID-19 isolation centers. These treat COVID-19 positive patients who need a nursing facility level of care. After a hospitalization discharge, they need a place to recover before returning to their residence. 


In South Florida, that isolation center in Lauderhill is called Nspire Healthcare, and the city's leaders say this one shouldn't have been chosen. Gov. Ron DeSantis says these centers were chosen to stop contagion of the COVID-19 disease.

Jackson Health System

Jackson Health System in Miami has started using telehealth to monitor patients in treatment for COVID-19. Florida's largest public health system wants to monitor many patients at once, while keeping staff safe.


On this Tuesday, June 9, episode of Sundial:

Drive-in Theaters Make A Comeback

Movie theaters are now allowed to reopen across the state — but not in most parts of South Florida. In Broward, they are set to reopen June 15. Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties haven’t announced any plans to reopen movie theaters yet. 

AL DIAZ / Miami Herald

Most of Florida has already moved into phase two of Florida’s reopening plan for the novel coronavirus. In most of the state, people can now visit bars, movie theaters and casinos, along with beaches, gyms and restaurants. Of course, this comes with some caveats for social distancing and wearing masks.

Community health centers had been at the front lines of health care in the nation's poorest neighborhoods even before the spread of the coronavirus. But in the midst of the pandemic, patients who fear deportation or infection are forcing many centers to close.

Public health officials worry that the populations that these centers serve — mostly people with low incomes and immigrants — aren't getting proper health care and testing, may be unable to quarantine themselves and could contribute to spreading the coronavirus to the wider population.

Ministerio de Salud de Costa Rica

Like so many doctors around the world, pediatric surgeon Roberto Herrera was exposed to the new coronavirus back in early March.

“Of course I was scared at first,” says Herrera. That's in no small part because he was also at-risk: he’s 61 and asthmatic. But Herrera insists he was never panicked. After all, he says, he lives in Costa Rica – which has reported only seven COVID-19 deaths and fewer than 800 cases.

AP Photo/Steve Helber

When drive-through COVID-19 testing was first offered in Broward County, one of the first was at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston. That was five weeks ago.


Carl Juste / Miami Herald

A shipment of one million N95 masks to Miami-Dade County firefighters was confiscated by the federal government last week, say top Miami-Dade officials.

The move came just as county firefighters ramped up a program to begin at-home COVID-19 testing for Miami-Dade residents who are homebound and cannot make it to drive-thru testing sites.