Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in South Florida on April 2

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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.

DESANTIS SUSPENDS FORECLOSURES, EVICTIONS FOR 45 DAYS

6:10 p.m.: Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended all evictions and foreclosures in Florida for the next 45 days in an effort to keep people in their homes while Floridians are supposed to be staying inside to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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3 HIALEAH FIREFIGHTERS TEST POSITIVE

5:50 p.m.: Three Hialeah firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed to the Miami Herald on Thursday.

Two received their test results on Wednesday, while the third firefighter was informed of a positive result on March 28. Two are asymptomatic and one is showing symptoms related to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Hialeah city council member Oscar De la Rosa.

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CRUISE SHIP WITH COVID-19 ON BOARD DOCKING IN FLORIDA

4:30 p.m.: After 12 days at sea searching for a place to dock, the Zaandam cruise ship arrived at Port Everglades prepared to dock about 4 p.m. Thursday along with its sister ship the Rotterdam.

Thirteen ambulances from American Medical Response waited on the pier, ready to transport critically ill patients to Broward hospitals. At least nine passengers are positive for COVID-19, among 11 tested as of Tuesday. More than 1,200 passengers and almost as many crew were aboard the two ships.

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TWO BROWARD COUNTY JAIL INMATES TEST POSITIVE

4 p.m.: In the last two days, two inmates in Broward County jail have tested positive for COVID-19, the Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday afternoon.

“Staff who were in contact with the inmate have been notified and are advised to self-isolate, self-monitor and contact the Department of Health for further instructions,” BSO said. “The arresting officer, who works at a police department in Broward County, has been notified as well.”

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HEAT PLAYER FINDS WAY TO HELP IN OWN WAY

3:15 p.m.: Heat center Meyers Leonard will be streaming for 24 hours straight on ESPN Esports’ Twitch channel starting Sunday at 1 p.m. for the Hammer Classic. He’ll be donating $25,000 matched by the NBPA. The Hammer Classic will help fund Feeding America and Feeding South Florida.

Over the 24 hours, Leonard will be playing Call of Duty, Fortnite, and a host of other games. He’ll be joined by other athletes, gamers, and celebrity friends.

“I am blessed and thankful to have a platform that allows me to impact people in a positive way. During this very difficult and uneasy time, my goal is to bring some relief and joy to those in need,” Leonard said in a statement. “This Sunday, I will be doing a 24-hour live stream on my Twitch channel to help raise money for Feeding South Florida and Feeding America. Gaming has always been a passion of mine, and I love connecting with fans in an authentic way.”

In addition, Leonard spoke Thursday with local reporters on a conference call about basketball and the NBA’s suspended season ...

MARLINS STARTING RELIEF FUND

3:10 p.m.: The Marlins Foundation on Thursday announced it is launching the Home Plate Meals Relief Fund, which in partnership with Feeding South Florida will “launch a weekly drive-thru food distribution throughout the month of April.”

A total of $150,000 has been earmarked so far for the food drive, with $100,000 coming directly from the foundation and another $50,000 from Florida Blue. In total, according to the team’s press release, that will be enough for 200,000 meals. Distribution centers will be set up at a pair of to-be-determined Miami-Dade County public schools, one in Liberty City and another in Little Havana.

Additional relief efforts through the fund are being planned.

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MORE CITY OF MIAMI TROLLEY CHANGES

3 p.m.: The City of Miami announced in a tweet Thursday afternoon: “Effective immediately and until further notice, the City of Miami is suspending all @MiamiTrolley service on Sundays, with the exception of the Little Haiti route. Limited weekday and Saturday trolley service continues.”

A LIST OF TESTING SITES IN SOUTH FLORIDA

1:45 p.m.: COVID-19 testing centers have arrived in South Florida, with more expected to open in the coming weeks.

All of the centers are drive-thru only, which means you need to be in a car or truck with a working window. You should also put gas in your vehicle before you go — wait times could be at least two hours.

Each of the centers also have a criteria for testing eligibility and different sets of hours. Here’s a list of the testing sites around South Florida ...

HEAD OF FLORIDA’S BROKEN UNEMPLOYMENT SITE VOWS TO FIX IT

1:05 p.m.: The website where newly unemployed people in Florida can apply for relief has essentially been broken for days, overwhelmed by a crush of new visitors because of the coronavirus’ economic impact. The man in charge of the system apologized Thursday and vowed to fix the broken site.

“From my heart, I apologize for what you’re going through,” Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson said during a morning meeting. “There’s a full commitment from me, personally and professionally, to get you the resources you need from my department.”

Lawson said his office received 1.5 million calls in the last week, with a third of them coming from Floridians looking to reset the PIN numbers required to log into the site. Lawson said the department signed a contract with a company Sunday to provide 250 additional call takers to handle PIN resets. Last week, a record 227,000 Floridians filed for unemployment even with the site’s technical difficulties.

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FLORIDA MEDICAL PROVIDERS CONTEND WITH MASK SHORTAGES

12:40 p.m.: Florida medical providers are following Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and wearing single masks for 12-hour shifts, but they continue to worry they’re not being properly protected as the state climbed past 8,000 confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday.

Across South Florida, medical providers are being forced into unusual methods to account for the shortage of personal protective equipment. University of Miami medical school students have organized a phone bank soliciting donations from local businesses, Jackson Memorial Hospital residents have organized a GoFundMe and Broward Health’s fundraising arm has pivoted to collecting cash for more protective equipment. One Miami doctor is even working to convert a full-face snorkel into a protective mask.

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UPDATED FLORIDA CASE NUMBERS

11:40 a.m.: Florida’s Department of Health on Thursday morning confirmed 237 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total of cases to 8,010. The death toll has jumped to 128.

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GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR CRUISE SHIPS

11:25 a.m.: On Fox News Thursday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the Holland America cruise company has come to an agreement Floridians will be able to return home with help of the Florida National Guard. Foreign nationals aboard the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships will be bussed to an airport and put on flights back to their home countries.

“It’s all going to be done in a way as to not expose the people of Florida to the illnesses ... you got to be safe when doing this stuff,” he said. “They can’t just release them into the general public.”

The cruise line was still waiting for the go-ahead to dock at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades from local authorities.

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FLORIDA JOBLESS CLAIMS SURGE

10:10 a.m.: Initial unemployment claims in Florida surged to 227,000, as the coronavirus crisis continues. This number still likely represents an under-count of the extent of joblessness in the state, as the state’s system for filing unemployment remains beset by sluggishness.

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SOUTH FLORIDA HOTEL OCCUPANCY PLUNGES

9:50 a.m.: As expected, hotel occupancy in South Florida plummeted to new lows last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In Miami-Dade County, occupancy was at 19.6 percent from March 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.

Broward County hotels were at 24.1 percent occupancy compared to 86.3 percent last year. Palm Beach County was at 21.2 percent compared to 84.2 percent last year.

The region’s steepest decline was in Monroe County, where just 7.2 percent of the hotel rooms were occupied in contrast to 92.1 percent the same week last year.

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CATCH UP TO START THE DAY

9:15 a.m.: Here are the coronavirus headlines to catch you up on what’s happening around South Florida and the state as Thursday begins.

The number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Florida hit 7,773 on Wednesday, while the number of deaths reached triple digits for the first time.

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

The Archbishop of Miami on Wednesday strongly told his priests not to conduct any in-person services, including Easter Masses, over the next two weeks.

Miami-Dade County is reducing hours for the Metrorail and the Metromover again as ridership drops during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Port Everglades administration said they learned a linehandler, someone who helps secure ships when they dock, is suspected to have tested positive for COVID-19.

Goodwill Industries of South Florida still wants donations. But the non-profit organization also wants cash donations for its survival and the survival of the 2,200 workers laid off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rolling Loud, one of the most popular hip-hop music festivals and which was supposed to be in May at Hard Rock Stadium, has been rescheduled until February 2021 due to the coronavirus.

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