Coronavirus update: Aventura testing site, Palm Beach nurses die and mobile morgues

Today is Wednesday, April 15 and the United States has surpassed 600,000 COVID-19 cases, with California reporting 1,544 — the highest number in a single day since the outbreak.

Florida now holds 3.6% of the COVID-19 population in the United States. Miami-Dade is at 155 deaths — a quarter of the state’s death toll — and Palm Beach follows with 107.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez shared on Tuesday that he will conduct virtual meetings with health experts to discuss what can be done to eventually ease up on certain restrictions.

“This will be a thoughtful and deliberate process that will involve health experts at every step,” Gimenez said. “Any rules that will be eased up sometime in the future will be followed up by strong enforcement.” The first meeting will be held today to discuss parks and open spaces.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. announced on Tuesday that the Amelia Earhart testing site will now allow residents 18 years or older who are experiencing symptoms. Testing will be conducted Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only.

The Florida Association of Public Information Officers shared on Tuesday that the Hard Rock testing site reached capacity at 10:45 a.m. This was the second day in a row that the site has closed early due to capacity limits.

A COVID-19 testing site at Aventura Mall opened on Monday. Testing will be conducted inside the north parking garage weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m by appointment only. Priority access will be given to those 65 and older as well as first responders.

Local 10 reported that mobile morgues arrived at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s office on Tuesday. As Florida’s peak nears, the morgues will be on standby in case of an overflow of bodies.

The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs shared on Tuesday afternoon that a second veteran from the Alexander Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines died due to COVID-19. William Tretault was 89 years old. His death comes 10 days after another resident’s passing.

Two nurses at the Court at Palm Aire nursing home in Palm Beach County died due to COVID-19, a spokesperson told CBS 4 on Tuesday. Both nurses had been hospitalized since April 7. Six nurses were sent to the hospital some time last week due to symptoms associated with COVID-19. Among them, five tested positive and one is in quarantine pending results.

Broward County Library officials announced Tuesday that residents will now be able to acquire an online library card for free. The card will allow access to books, movies, magazines and music.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Tuesday that Florida will receive more than $896 million from the CARES Act for its airports. Miami International will get most of the funding with $207 million. Fort Lauderdale will follow with $135 million and Palm Beach County will receive $36.6 million.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motorcycles announced on Tuesday that all driver licenses in the state with an expiration date between March 16 and April 30 will be extended for an additional 60 days. Those with expiration dates from April 16 through the 30 will have 30 more days.


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Multimedia story of the day: Lauren Sommer from NPR addresses the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases across the country and whether they’re facing a flattening curve.

Tweet of the day:

Mickaella is a senior at FIU, currently majoring in Journalism and looking forward to a Spring 2020 graduation. She was born in New Jersey but moved to Miami at the age of 7. Missing the fall foliage, winter snow and 24/7 deli’s, she plans to move back up north to New York after graduation and further enhance her career.