It’s Wednesday, July 22nd - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Miami-Dade County has changed the way it calculates and reports the rate of positive test results, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
For months, the county was reporting a higher rate than the state, which elected leaders said complicated their decision on whether to order additional restrictions and business closures. The county’s “New Normal Dashboard” will report four separate positivity rates each day and an explanation for each. The state’s reporting did not include retests of anyone who had previously tested positive for the virus. The county, however, was reporting all results, including retests.
No. 2 - As hospitalizations continue rising at a record pace in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis sought Tuesday to calm fears that some health systems will be unable to handle the load of patients.
If there was a Word of the Day in Tallahassee Tuesday, it was "plateau." Deaths have plateaued, as well, but at a record rate of 114 confirmed per day over the last week. Hospitalizations continue to climb at a record pace. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 9,520 patients in Florida hospitals with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to the Agency for Healthcare Administration. For more on what the state is saying, click here for a report from NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone.
No. 3 - Monroe County commissioners have decided against canceling the year's lobster mini-season.
The Florida Keys summer tradition was on the rocks due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state. But, county officials chose not to send a letter cancelling the event to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That means from July 29th to the 30th, boaters will be free to catch the crustaceans. However, the county did decide to close public boat ramps in Islamorada and Key Largo between July 24th and August 9th.
No. 4 - A local protester is telling her side of the story after Miami's chief of police gave his account of what happened when she was arrested during a demonstration in Downtown Miami.
Norah Fahmy's July 15 arrest near the Torch of Friendship was captured on video and angered fellow activists. Fahmy has never been arrested prior to these protests, but now she's been arrested a total of four times. Two of her cases have been dropped, she says. Her arrest went viral - prompting a Twitter response from Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina. To hear what she had to say, click here for a report from NBC 6’s Arlene Borenstein.
No. 5 - Celine Churchman is a 15-year-old with a big goal. She was first exposed to how the financial toll of the pandemic is affecting families at the kitchen table though her friends.
The teen decided to use her leverage in the community and her connections to do something about the demand for free food sources in South Florida. With backing from Sweetwater Commissioner Marcos Villanueva's office, the teen has been able to coordinate several food distributions. Click here for more on Celine’s effort in a report from NBC 6’s Stephanie Bertini in her weekly Helping Hands series.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, the umbrella will be needed with storm and localized flooding chances remaining high Wednesday across most of South Florida. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.