Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in South Florida on April 1

·9 min read

We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding the coronavirus in South Florida and around the state. Check back for updates throughout the day.

Rolling Loud rescheduled

5:35 p.m.: Rolling Loud, one of the most popular hip-hop music festivals held at Hard Rock Stadium, has been rescheduled until February 2021 due to the coronavirus.

Festival officials announced the postponement via social media late Wednesday afternoon, saying they worked “around the clock” before finally deciding to move it to President’s Day weekend on Feb. 12-14, 2021.

Read the full story here.

A snapshot of the Miami VA hospital

5:25 p.m.: When federal inspectors dropped in unannounced at the Miami VA hospital as coronavirus began spreading last month, they discovered the facility lacked adequate supplies and equipment, including critical N95 surgical masks for healthcare staff and other employees.

So far, a relatively low number of patients at the Miami VA have tested positive for COVID-19, the dangerous respiratory disease caused by the virus, but the facility’s directors have enacted a policy in avert a potential shortage — and some staffers worry it could compromise their own health.

Read the full story here.

Still no plan for Zaandam cruise ship

4:45 p.m.: As the beleagured Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships steam toward Port Everglades, more than 1,200 passengers on board still don’t know what will happen to them when they arrive early Thursday.

The Broward County Commission has not yet determined whether it will meet Thursday to decide how to handle passengers. At least nine aboard are sick with COVID-19, the highly infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Read the full story here.

Masks and gloves for Sedano’s workers

4:35 p.m.: Sedano’s stores have the coronavirus-era signs of plexiglas and social -distancing floor markings also common at Publix and Winn-Dixie.

But they also have employees covered with company-provided gloves and, usually, masks. That’s what separates it from its two main supermarket rivals in South Florida.

Read the full story here.

South Florida hotel occupancy drops

4:20 p.m.: Hotel occupancy in South Florida plummeted to new lows last week following closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In Miami-Dade County, occupancy was at 19.6 percent from Mar. 22-28 compared to 86.6 percent during the same week in 2019 – a slide of 77.4 percent, according to the latest STR report, which provides analytics for global hospitality sectors. It was the first report showing the full impact of hotel shutdowns.

Broward County hotels were at 24.1 percent occupancy compared to 86.3 percent last year – a drop of 72.1 percent. Palm Beach County was at 21.2 percent compared to 84.2 percent last year.

Miami-Dade’s gradual coronavirus response has risks, research shows

3:45 p.m.: Social distancing is working, but timing and discipline is everything.

Those are the takeaways of new research emerging into the effectiveness of mitigation measures aimed at the spreading novel coronavirus that demonstrate communities that acted more quickly and aggressively had better results than those that implemented partial, or gradual measures.

Read the full story here.

CORONAVIRUS FAQ

2:20 p.m.: The Miami Herald put together a list of answers for some of your frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check it out here. We will also update this report to include more of your questions and answers over the coming days.

GOV. DESANTIS ISSUES STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

2:05 p.m.: Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he would sign an executive order limiting all activity in Florida to essential services only for the next 30 days to try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order would go into effect Thursday night at midnight, he said.

DeSantis previously said he didn’t feel a stay-at-home order for the entire state was necessary because different counties were impacted by the coronavirus more than others. But DeSantis said he was taking this action Wednesday after President Donald Trump extended the social distancing guidelines nationwide for another 30 days.

Read the full story here ...

COVID-19 TESTS IN MIAMI BEACH NOW FREE FOR UNINSURED

1:05 p.m.: Coronavirus testing at Miami Beach’s only drive-thru location will be now free for the uninsured. The Miami Herald had reported that the clinic, operated by MedRite Urgent Care, would charge the uninsured up to $125 to test for COVID-19.

The drive-thru testing site at a municipal parking lot at 4621 Collins Ave. will open Thursday, several commissioners said. Testing will be conducted by appointment only and will be available only to those of any age who have been pre-approved by a doctor.

Read the full story here ...

FLORIDA’S UPDATED CASE NUMBERS

12:45 p.m.: On Wednesday morning, Florida’s Department of Health announced 214 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total of confirmed cases to 6,955. Two new deaths were reported in Palm Beach County, raising the statewide death toll to 87.

The Florida Department of Health added 79 cases in Miami-Dade County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county up to 2,202, with seven deaths.

Broward County added 13 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 1,232, with 12 deaths.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties make up 49.4 percent of Florida’s total confirmed cases.

The state’s numbers will be updated again Wednesday evening.

MIAMI-DADE ADULT DAYCARE CENTERS ORDERED CLOSED

12 p.m.: Miami-Dade adult daycare centers catering to people with Alzheimer’s and other intense needs must close by the weekend under a new emergency order by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Gimenez announced the new rules late Tuesday, posting a signed order stating all adult daycare centers in the county — including those located within cities — must close by 11:59 p.m. Friday.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING SITE OPENING IN HIALEAH

11:30 a.m.: A free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Hialeah will open Thursday at Amelia Earhart Park.

The site will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offer about 200 tests per day, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo told the Miami Herald. In a news release, Bovo and former Florida Sen. Rene Garcia said the tests are for people age 65 and older showing symptoms of COVID-19, but Bovo said younger people with symptoms may also be eligible.

The number to call for appointments at the new Hialeah site is 305-268-4319 — that’s 305-COVID19.

Appointments are required and patients need to be in their cars, with a maximum of two people per car. The call center will open each day at 9 a.m. and close when slots for the next day are filled.

HEAT PLAYER STILL GETTING USED TO NEW NORMAL

10:50 a.m.: Like many people around the world, Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic is still getting used to the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

While isolating themselves in their Miami home, Dragic and his wife, Maja, are left answering many questions from their two children, 6-year-old Mateo and 4-year-old Viktoria, on why life has suddenly changed.

“They’re asking questions and we tried to explain what is going on,” Dragic said on a conference call with South Florida reporters Tuesday afternoon. “But it’s tough during these times. They’re asking why we’re doing home schooling and why we always stay at home and we try to tell them, but it’s hard.”

Read the full story here ...

(Note: Dragic encouraged the public to donate to Feeding South Florida, which is the largest, most efficient food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. Donate at Heat.com/donate.)

VALET PARKING DURING A PANDEMIC?

9:30 a.m.: Many of the things that come with valet parking a car could help COVID-19 spread. So, South Florida cities, condos and businesses are reining in the service, allowing drivers to decide whether or not they want someone else in their car.

Most hospitals have suspended valet service — including Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Jackson Memorial and UHealth in Miami, and Memorial Healthcare in Broward.

Read the full story here, with a look at what some cities are doing regarding valet parking.

CATCH UP TO START THE DAY

9:10 a.m.: Here are the coronavirus headlines to catch you up on what’s happening around South Florida and the state as Wednesday begins.

Florida has more than 6,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the state’s health department reported Tuesday evening.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said he had no plans to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, partly because he says he hasn’t been told to do so by the White House task force.

Miami on Tuesday loosened age restrictions on a drive-up coronavirus testing site at Hadley Park, allowing city residents as young as 45 to participate if they experience symptoms of COVID-19. Across town, Marlins Park began offering drive-through testing for any adult with symptoms of the virus.

A second man who attended the recent Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach has died of COVID-19, according to festival organizers.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and other “essential businesses” in Miami Beach will be required to limit their capacity by half, keep employees and customers six feet from each other at all times.

Miami-Dade offered the first look Tuesday at a bare-bones field hospital built on the county fairgrounds at Tamiami Park.

A longtime University of Miami medical employee has died from COVID-19, the university said Tuesday.

It has only been about two weeks, but the coronavirus already has changed South Florida, maybe permanently in some ways.

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