Coronavirus update: Parks may open soon, Broward state of emergency extended

As of April 21, the United States represents 33.5% of the COVID-19 infected population. Connecticut cases spiked 2,000 overnight and the Los Angeles unified school district reported a loss of $200 million due to the pandemic.

Florida has now surpassed 27,000, with 2% of the U.S. deaths. Miami-Dade will most likely hit 10,000 in the next 24 hours.

Miami-Dade County officials announced Monday that they have partnered with local organizations to host food distribution events to help feed families during the pandemic. In partnership with Farm Share, a food drive will begin at 9 a.m. at Homestead Air Reserve Park, 27401 SW 127th Ave. The county has also partnered with Feeding South Florida on an additional food distribution site at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 11 a.m. It will continue every Tuesday until further notice.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Monday afternoon the first phases of park openings. Close contact group sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer and football will not be allowed.

Gimenez also clarified the situation with beaches: “Before we open any beaches, we want to see how our people follow rules for other openings.”

The Miami Beach testing site located at 4621 Collins Ave. started testing first responders, healthcare workers and employees of essential businesses on Monday. The site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Saturdays. Individuals wishing to get tested need to make an appointment.

The BSO deputies union voted “no confidence” in Sheriff Gregory Tony following criticism about a lack of PPE for deputies. Following the vote, a media conference was held to announce that 693 voted against Tony out of 786. Tony responded by saying he has heard the concerns of his deputies and his commitment is unwavering.

Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry signed an emergency order extension on Monday afternoon as the virus continues to be a threat to the county. The declaration took effect at 9 a.m. and will continue on for seven days unless modified.

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a task force phone conference on Monday in which he announced the state will get 100,000 FDA approved blood test kits for detecting coronavirus antibodies. Chief of Staff Shane Strum acknowledged the countless calls restaurants have made in regards to reopening possibly with outside dining, at even 25% or 50% occupancy.

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The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released a statement on Monday morning announcing it will be providing daily updates including a new state reemployment assistance claims dashboard. The dashboard will be updated daily to reflect the total number of reemployment assistance claims submitted, verified, processed and paid.

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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.