Coronavirus update: Weston Mayor tests positive, DeSantis urges social distancing and Sunrise testing opens

It is Tuesday, April 7 and the United States has recorded 10,986 deaths. California will lock down more than 4,600 beds to prepare for the surge they will soon face.

Florida has recorded more than 13,000 cases, having jumped a thousand overnight. Palm Beach County continues to lead the state’s death toll and Broward follows closely behind.

On Sunday City of Weston officials said that Mayor Daniel Stermer had tested positive for COVID-19. Stermer has been sick and in quarantine since March 31 and will continue that way till April 14 while working from home.

Hialeah announced on Monday that starting April 7, the city will open pick-up locations for unemployment applications. These locations will provide assistance to those applying for benefits and will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until further notice.

Cao Bakery announced on Monday that it will be giving out Cuban bread at all their 11 locations for free. The distribution will take place every Monday while supplies last.

WSVN 7 reported on Monday that a third passenger of the Coral Princess has died due to COVID-19. Six people were transported to hospitals in Miami-Dade and Tampa once the ship docked last Saturday. Some passengers are still waiting to be cleared.

Miami Dolphins officials shared on Monday that their 2020 NFL draft party will be held virtually on April 23. The party, sponsored by Bud Light Seltzer, will take place in the organization’s official Facebook group. Those who wish to attend can RSVP here.

NBC 6 reported on Monday that the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council created a fund in memory of Deputy Shannon Bennett. The fund will aid families of first responders who fall victim to COVID-19. The organization has provided financial assistance to families of fallen officers since 1985.

Broward Mayor Dale Holness said at a Zoom conference Monday afternoon that zip codes 33028 and 33311 are the county’s current hotspots for COVID-19. Holness announced that the testing site in Pompano Beach, located on Sample Road will be reopened this week but will primarily be testing first responders. He also added that a new testing site on Sunrise and 441 will open on Thursday. “A lot of people are still anxious,” Holness said. “It’s not as easy to get the tests as I think we ought to have. We ought to have more testing readily available so that people can know to isolate themselves.”

Florida Prepaid College Program officials stated on Monday that the board will be deferring payments required for April, May and June. Payments are scheduled to resume on July 20, and payment plans will be extended for an additional three months.

At a news conference on Monday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged religious leaders throughout the state to adhere to the social distancing guidelines during Holy Week. “We want people during this time to be spiritually together but to remain socially distant,” DeSantis said. “Please keep God close, but please keep COVID-19 away.”

DeSantis also took the time to address the status of the unemployment system saying that the capacity issue has been resolved, allowing approximately 120,000 users to access the site simultaneously. There was a redundancy built into the system in which a backup would take over if the system failed but the redundancy was never connected to the system, he added.

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Text by Mickaella Mori, video by Andrea Igliozzi

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.