6 Things to Know – Broader Testing Helping COVID Fight, Nurse Battling Pandemic Faces Deportation

It’s Thursday, April 23rd - and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day


It’s Thursday, April 23rd - and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.

No. 1 - Miami-Dade tourist leaders and Mayor Carlos Gimenez are brainstorming over how to get the economic engines up and running.

NBC 6 found out from Mayor Carlos Gimenez that by Friday, they will have a plan to present to Gov. Ron DeSantis on reopening tourist spots in Miami Dade.The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau produced a new glitzy promo video showing off the Florida Everglades, South Florida beaches and lots of smiling faces with the message that COVID-19 can’t stop Miami from always shining.

No. 2 - Drive-thru testing sites at both CB Smith Park and at Hard Rock Stadium are an example of what health care experts want to see more broadly: a testing criteria that allows just about anyone to get tested.

State health officials have touted the expansion of people tested and a decrease in the percentage of results coming back positive as a sign that the outbreak in Florida has peaked. Statewide, the number of results coming back positive is down from around 18% to 10%. In Miami-Dade, the number is higher at 16%, and in Broward, it's 12%. Monroe is at 7% with only 73 confirmed cases.

No. 3 - Nearly three out of four Floridians think social distancing rules for the coronavirus pandemic should continue past April, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday found that 72 percent of Florida voters want social distancing rules to continue into May, with 22 percent saying they should be loosened at the end of April. When it comes to the state's economy, 76 percent of registered voters say it should reopen when public health officials deem it safe, while 17 percent say it should reopen even if health officials warn against it.

No. 4 - The House is reassembling to send President Donald Trump a fourth bipartisan bill to help businesses crippled by the coronavirus, an almost $500 billion measure that many lawmakers are already looking beyond.

Anchoring the latest bill is a request by the Trump administration to replenish a fund to help small- and medium-size businesses with payroll, rent and other expenses. Supporters are already warning that more money will be needed almost immediately for the business-backed Paycheck Protection Program. Battle lines are forming over the next measure amid growing demands to help out state and local governments, the Postal Service and first responders.

No. 5 - Of all the ironies COVID-19 has unabashedly thrust in our faces, few are as stark as that of a health care employee working in the respiratory unit of a public hospital during a pandemic being on the verge of being forced to return to his home country. 

Rony Ponthieux is a registered nurse assigned to what has essentially been converted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 battleground. He is also a Haitian immigrant who arrived in the U.S. 20 years ago, this week, with his wife. After two decades, this nurse who describes his job nowadays as “meeting death” is also tormented by the possibility of being removed from the place he and his U.S.-born children call home. Click here to hear his story from NBC 6 reporter Nathalia Ortiz.

No. 6 - Weatherwise, after a one day cool down South Florida will again be flirting with record high temperatures and plenty of humidity Thursday. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.

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