Coronavirus Update: Miami-Dade extends state of emergency, Broward warns of CDC imposters

As of today, Friday, April 24, the coronavirus has taken the lives of more than 46,000 Americans. There is no stated end date for Russia’s lockdown and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the country will not return to normal till next year.

As the state is reaching almost 30,000 cases and 2 percent of the country’s death rate, Miami-Dade continues to be the hot-spot at over 10,500 confirmed cases.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed an executive order on Thursday extending the state of emergency. The order will run for an additional seven days unless modified.

Gimenez also released on Thursday evening the daily hospital statistics for the county. According to the report, there are 609 intensive care units, 884 ventilators ready for deployment and 174 on standby. Additionally, there are 44 COVID-19 patients and 83 have been discharged.

Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina shared with WSVN 7 on Thursday that his symptoms have started to diminish and he is feeling much better. Colina added that he’s still having shortness of breath and a cough. He will continue to self-isolate and could go back to work by May 4. 

According to the Director of Emergency Management of Miami-Dade County Frank Rollason, approximately 1 million face masks were confiscated by the federal government last week. The masks were intended to be used by the county’s firefighters to begin at-home testing for residents who aren’t able to go to the drive-through sites.

During a City of Miami commission meeting on Thursday, three agenda items proposed by commissioner Ken Russell were approved to aid small business owners amid the coronavirus pandemic. The options now available are the COVID-19 Micro-Assistance Enterprise program, Small Business Emergency Loan Program and Emergency Technical Assistance.

Broward administrators  announced on Thursday that they will be hosting a free mask and toy distribution on Sunday, April 26. The event will take place at 1302 E Las Olas Blvd starting at 10 a.m. and will be first come first serve.

Cooper City officials
clarified to residents on Thursday that CDC representatives are not conducting in-home COVID-19 testing after a social media post claims otherwise. The Broward Sheriff’s Office deems it to be a scam and is encouraging residents to be vigilant. 

A mother of a Broward County teacher has asked for plasma donations for her daughter, who is battling COVID-19. Stefanie Miller is a mother and second-grade school teacher. She has been put on a ventilator after being diagnosed with a serious viral infection.

Gov. Ron DeSantis shared on Thursday shared the names of those who are volunteering on the Re-Open Florida Task Force. Among those listed are CEO of Jackson Health Systems Carlos Migoya and President of Memorial Healthcare Systems Aurelio Fernandez.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shared on Thursday that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will provide benefits to those not eligible under the state’s reemployment program. Individuals eligible for this program include independent contractors and those self-employed. The department will release more information this week. Additionally, as of April 22, the DEO verified over 680,000 claims and paid out 116,830 claimants. 

On The Caplin News: Jueisy Garcia illustrates how the city of Miami has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through photos. The essay shows the empty streets and nonexistent nightlife.

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Mickaella Mori wrote the story and Victor Jorges produced the video

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.