Coronavirus Update: Virtual graduations and counties will reopen simultaneously

Today is Wednesday, April 21 and as New York records less than 500 deaths since April 2, Georgia and a few other states prepare to reopen businesses as soon as Friday.

Florida cases have topped 27,000 cases, Miami-Dade county has officially reached over 10,000 and Palm Beach has once again taken second place in the state’s death toll.

Miami-Dade County Public School officials released a statement on Tuesday announcing that high school seniors will have virtual graduation ceremonies along with senior recognition.The department also plans to follow the original ceremony schedule from May 26 to June 3. Additionally, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho left the option open for physical ceremonies when restrictions lift.

School officials also announced on Tuesday that grab and go meals will now be available on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m.

Hialeah officials announced on Tuesday that Mayor Carlos Hernandez, in partnership with Feeding South Florida, will conduct drive-thru food distribution on Thursday, April 23. The event will take place at Goodlet Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents must follow CDC guidelines and remain in their cars. 

Hernandez also helped distribute over 3,500 face masks to local assisted living facilities on Tuesday, Local 10 said. Hernandez told reporters that the intent is for them to remain in place, but in case they do need to go out, they will be able to protect themselves.

During a commission meeting on Tuesday, Broward Mayor Dale Holeness said that county political leaders have agreed to phase in any re-opening efforts in tandem with all four counties in the southeast region so as to not encourage a multitude of people in one area at the same time.

Additionally, Broward Commissioner Beam Furr said that if mail-in ballots will be encouraged then residents should be made aware of the delays and educate them on how to properly fill out a ballot. Commissioner Tim Ryan added that the state will have 12 high speed counters which will work double the time to count ballots before election day.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday the members of the Reopen Task Force working group for tourism, construction, real estate, recreation, retail and transportation. The announcement follows Monday’s news of the members for the executive committee.

The Florida Department of Education stated on Tuesday that educators have saved more than $8 million from the certification exam fee waiver. More than 31,000 have registered to take the FTCE using the fee waiver. This represents more than 62,000 actual exam registrations.  

Multimedia story of the day: Jin Wu and Allison McCan ofthe New York Times provide details on tracking global deaths due to COVID-19. According to the report, there are 25,000 uncounted deaths.

Tweet of the day:

Mickaella Mori wrote the article. Monica Lebro 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.

Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Monica is working on her broadcast journalism bachelor's degree. She loves to write and is passionate about sports, the art of interviewing and strives to become an on-air sports talent. She produces digital content and is a social media manager.