It’s Wednesday, May 20th - and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - The City of Miami is among four cities in Miami-Dade County preparing for Wednesday's partial phase one reopening that includes retail and grooming businesses as well as public parks.
The cities are opening more slowly amid the coronavirus pandemic than Miami-Dade County, which partially reopened Monday with businesses and restaurants allowed a maximum of 50% indoor capacity. Miami is joined by Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami Gardens in the move to join the rest of the county, which along with Broward County joined the rest of Florida in entering phase one. Restaurants in Miami will have to wait until May 27 to reopen.
No. 2 - The chief architect of Florida’s coronavirus website was fired this week after a dispute over what information should be made public, underscoring how entwined public health data and politics have become as elected officials move to reopen their communities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has said his decision to begin reopening his state has been driven by science, and federal epidemiologists have praised his administration’s daily release of COVID-19 related data as especially granular and user-friendly. But questions about the integrity of the state's public health data were raised anew when Rebekah Jones, an information systems manager with the Florida Department of Health, announced in an email to researchers Friday that she was reassigned from her duties.
No. 3 - Records show the state of Florida received federal funding in the beginning of April to help residents get benefits needed after filing for unemployment due to COVID-19 - so why are some people still waiting?
NBC 6 Responds continues to hear from people who say they are waiting for their federal unemployment benefits as accounting documents show transactions from Florida’s unemployment trust fund in March, the state did not withdraw any amounts larger than $1.6 million. In the first quarter of the year, the fund earned nearly $25 million in interest. But on April 1st, $29 million was deposited.
No. 4 - Carlos Amador was greeted by a socially distant mariachi band this weekend as he celebrated his first day home after 40 days in the hospital.
The 49-year-old was admitted into Aventura Hospital on April 6 after testing positive for COVID-19. Amador says it was a long process as he was in critical condition and could barely breathe and even lost 40 pounds, until a convalescent plasma transfusion saved his life. Click here to hear his story from NBC 6 reporter Amanda Plasencia.
No. 5 - Since March, Miami-Dade public schools have provided an estimated 2.9 million meals to students and their families. That number is growing because the need is constant.
Before the pandemic, more than 70 percent of the student body was on free and reduced lunches. The financial toll of the pandemic is surely making things worse. NBC 6 reporter Stephanie Bertini shows how educators are doing their parts to help out in our weekly Helping Hands series.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, you’ll need to keep that umbrella handy as South Florida will be dealing with afternoon storms Wednesday and above average temperatures. Keep your NBC 6 app handy as well for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.