Coronavirus update: Hialeah’s ventanita ban, Sweetwater’s curfew reminders and Broward’s business ban

Another week has come to a close in the coronavirus pandemic. As of April 10, the U.S. model is now showing fewer projected deaths from the virus, down to 60,000 by August. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, if mitigation strategies continue, Americans may be able to take vacations by the summer.

Florida now makes up 3.4% of the COVID-19 cases in the United States. Miami-Dade will most likely reach 6,000 cases over the weekend, and Palm Beach County is at about 20% of the state’s death rate.

A Jackson Memorial Hospital employee was confirmed to have died due to COVID-19, officials told WSVN 7 on Thursday. Devin Francis was a radiology technician who worked for the emergency department for well over a year.

A doctor for the University of Miami appears to have also succumbed to complications of the disease. Dr. Luis Caldera-Nieves died on Wednesday and was an obstetrician for UHealth Kendall. He leaves behind a wife and six children.

The City of Hialeah released a statement on Thursday banning all walk-up service windows or “ventanitas” at restaurants in the area. Food establishments should not allow customers to wait at walk-up windows. A customer who places an order can wait in a vehicle. Exceptions will be made for drive-thru establishments that have been built and approved through municipal development processes. Officials added that Mayor Carlos Hernandez signed an order requiring residents to cover their nose and mouth when out in the area.

The Sweetwater Police Department shared on Thursday afternoon that it would start deploying vehicles nightly to remind residents of the curfew. The vehicles will be equipped with new technology that will continuously play recorded reminders. The curfew runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

FIU has donated approximately 28 ventilators to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a statement by the university, the ventilators are a part of FIU’s training and response equipment. They were picked up on Wednesday by state emergency coordinators.

13 passengers from the Coral Princess cruise ship will not be able to return home due to travel restrictions. The international passengers will be joining the ship’s crew members for an additional 14-day quarantine as local authorities will not authorize use of hotels. The Coral Princess departed PortMiami at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

A military veteran who was a resident at The Alexander Nininger Veteran’s Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines has died due to COVID-19. As of Wednesday night, nine residents have been confirmed with the disease and are hospitalized. An additional 40 tests were administered and another 50 are pending for later this week.

WSVN 7 reported on Thursday that doctors from Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation donated $60,000 worth of Publix gift cards to nurses and health care staff. The donation aims to show support amid the pandemic.

Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry signed an emergency order on Thursday afternoon restricting all public access to businesses and facilities deemed as nonessential. The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. and will continue until further notice.

A Zaandem crew member died of COVID-19 complications on Wednesday, six days after the ship arrived. The cruise ship docked at Port Everglades on April 2. Wiwit Widarto was 50 years old. His death raises the cruise’s virus-related fatalities to four.

The Florida Department of Environmental Opportunity released a statement on Wednesday that a mobile-friendly online application for those seeking to file for unemployment is now available.

“The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is committed to ensuring Floridians are able to receive the benefits owed to them during this global pandemic,” said Ken Lawson, executive director of the Florida DEO. “The team is working around the clock to make the process for applying for reemployment assistance as easy as possible for Floridians.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday at a roundtable that opening classrooms in May is not completely out of the question if conditions improved. He added that deciding whether to reopen school campuses will be evaluated every two weeks. The decision will depend on district cases as well as federal and health recommendations.

On The Caplin News: Adrian Dominguez reports on the high amounts of stress and lack of preparedness health workers are experiencing during the pandemic.

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The articles was written by Mickaella Mori. The video was produced by Victor Jorges. 

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.

Victor Jorges is a broadcast journalist specialized in covering stories about culture, arts and human interaction. His work includes documentaries, feature packages and written profiles. He currently works at CNN en Español as an associate producer. He hopes to cover Miami's Hispanic American culture for a local network upon graduation. Jorges was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami in 2007.