Coronavirus update: Publix hours, DeSantis helps out and new Broward clinics

It’s Friday, April 17 and 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment, including 1.2 million New Yorkers, and protective equipment costs surge to a thousand percent.

Florida now has 3.7% of the United States’ COVID-19 victims and 668 deaths. Miami-Dade continues to be the state’s hotspot with over 8,000 cases.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced on Thursday that all 26 library locations in the county will provide printed food stamp (SNAP) and Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applications in addition to the unemployment forms already provided. The forms can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. He added that the libraries will also accept donations for pets. Animal Services will then distribute those donations to residents in need.

Gimenez also gave an update on the county’s finances, informing that the departments have spent nearly $11 million. He estimated that spending could reach $45 million, but added the county would likely be reimbursed by either FEMA or the CARES Act.

Publix announced on Wednesday evening it will reserve special shopping hours for first responders, hospital staff and seniors. The hours for seniors would be Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8 a.m. and first responders as well as hospital staff hours will be Thursdays from 8 to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 7 to 8 a.m.

Miami Jewish Health System employees and residents have tested positive for COVID-19. All families have been notified and immediate action has been taken to protect those affected. Miami Jewish Health Senior Care Complex contains approximately 1,200 physicians, nurses, caregivers and support staff serving over 10,000 clients a year. The identities of those that have been confirmed positive was withheld for privacy.

WSVN 7 reported on Thursday that a recovered COVID-19 Coral Springs police officer had donated his plasma at OneBlood. Lt. Scott Meyers was diagnosed last month and has made a full recovery.

Broward Health shared on Thursday that it will be opening a second mobile testing unit in Pompano Beach. The site will open on Monday, April 20. Those who would like to get screened will need to pre-register and have a prescription. They will also have to call to make an appointment.

Local 10 reported on Wednesday evening that a third resident of The Court of Palm Aire in Pompano Beach died due to complications of COVID-19. The nursing home now has three deaths.

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness announced on Thursday evening that The Festival Market at 2900 West Sample Road in Pompano Beach will also begin drive-thru testing on Monday.

Royal Caribbean Cruises released a statement on Thursday announcing that the global suspension of sailings would be extended till June 11. The cruise line will work with guests who  had reservations. They expect to return to service on June 12.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Thursday evening suspending the biweekly reporting requirement for those who claim for unemployment. The order will expire on May 8 unless extended.

DeSantis also announced on Thursday that new testing sites will open in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. The sites will start operating on Saturday, April 18 and will be located at the Urban League and Mitchell Moore Park. There will be walk-through testing for those who do not have access to a car.

According to the state, 23,801 checks of $600 were mailed out this week to residents. Additionally, for the week ending April 11, the state received a total of 175,306 applications for reemployment assistance. The department also stated it will conduct nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system. Therefore, it will not be available from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily.

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Multimedia story of the day: The Pew Research Center shares survey results that show lower-income parents are more worried their children are falling behind amid the pandemic school closures.



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Mickaella Mori wrote the story. Andrea Igliozzi 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.

Andrea Igliozzi is a journalist originally from Caracas, Venezuela. From politics to arts, she has a passion for telling well-founded stories through video and multimedia platforms. She is qualified in front and behind the cameras.