Coronavirus

The latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale Beach
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Along Fort Lauderdale Beach, heading north on State Road A1A, few joggers and pairs of walking partners braved the gray clouds, stong wind and the pelting rain on Monday. 

Sheng Guo was among the first people in South Florida to experience the impact of COVID-19. He grew up near Wuhan, China, where the virus started. He lives in Weston now, but his parents and grandmother still live close to Wuhan. Guo is an economics instructor at FIU.

This week, NASA and the commercial company SpaceX are set to launch two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in a new capsule. This is the first launch by NASA of astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, but it's happening in the middle of a pandemic.

Here are some of the ways that the coronavirus will, and won't, change the plans for the space agency's latest launch.

Astronauts have been quarantining since before it was cool.

Thousands of people who had planned to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C., this holiday weekend were forced to cancel this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. That includes veterans traveling with the nonprofit network Honor Flight, which recently suspended all trips at least until this fall.

"Our veterans that travel with us are still living, so their day is Veterans Day not Memorial Day," says Honor Flight CEO Meredith Rosenbeck. "But they go to honor their friends and comrades, those who have fallen."

On this Memorial Day weekend, beaches have reopened and people are venturing outside.

Champale Greene-Anderson keeps the volume up on her television when she watches 5-year-old granddaughter Amor Robinson while the girl's mom is at work.

"So we won't hear the gunshots," says Greene-Anderson. "I have little bitty grandbabies, and I don't want them to be afraid to be here."

As a preschooler, Amor already knows and fears the sounds that occurred with regularity in their St. Louis neighborhood before the pandemic — and continue even now as the rest of the world has slowed down.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

One out of every three applications for unemployment in Florida has been deemed ineligible to get relief. Are the people applying for the support to blame, or is the trouble with the state’s unemployment system?

Daniel Reinhardt / AP

Health officials are figuring out the COVID-19 risks for children.

Creative Commons

Butterflies and moths captivated Lawrence Reeves – so much so that he chased their ethereal flutters all the way to the Philippines, his mother’s homeland, as an entomology master’s student at the University of Florida.

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Jeenah Moon / Reuters

Like the rest of the United States, unemployment in South Florida continues to climb. Experts are still working to get a more complete picture of how the COVID-19 virus has impacted the economy here, as well as across the country.

David Goodhue / Miami Herald/FL Keys News

A Florida Keys nursing home that has become a cluster for novel coronavirus cases did not report the deaths of 13 people at the facility to the state Department of Health, including seven people who were suspected to have possibly died from the disease, according to a report from the state agency that regulates nursing homes.

U.S. government buildings, military posts and embassies will fly the flag at half-staff through Memorial Day weekend in memory of the nearly 100,000 people who have died of COVID-19, President Trump announced Thursday night. The decision comes after Democratic leaders in Congress sent a letter to the president requesting the gesture.

The coronavirus test wasn't as bad as Celeste Torres imagined. Standing outside a dorm at the University of California, San Diego, Torres stuck a swab up a nostril, scanned a QR code, and went on with the day.

"The process itself was about five minutes," Torres says, "I did cry a little bit just because it's, I guess, a natural reaction."

The coronavirus has not spared the U.S. military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where legal proceedings have come to a virtual standstill due to the pandemic. That has critics of Guantánamo, which has cost taxpayers more than $6 billion despite finalizing only one conviction in nearly two decades, saying this is a chance to shut it down for good.

The White House is looking at extending a tax break for investments in certain low-income neighborhoods as it tries to find ways to address the devastating impact of the coronavirus on communities of color in America.

A provision in the 2017 tax cut law allows investors to defer and lower their capital gains taxes through 2026 if they invest their profits into designated "opportunity zones" –- areas struggling with high unemployment and low wages.

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