It’s Wednesday, March 18th – and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - Three residents of Fort Lauderdale assisted living facilities are believed to be among the latest deaths in Florida from coronavirus, the city's mayor said Tuesday.
The office of Mayor Dean Trantalis confirmed two deaths happened at Atria Willow Wood on W. Commercial Boulevard. Trantalis said a second facility was also involved. As of Tuesday, the Department of Health reported 195 confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving Florida residents, with another 21 belonging to residents from out-of-state. The state has reported a total of seven deaths.
No. 2 - South Florida and the rest of the state is making a major push toward closing spaces where the public gathers amid the growing concern with the coronavirus crisis.
Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all Florida bars and nightclubs closed for 30 days starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, upending St. Patrick's Day revelry with a more aggressive push to contain the new coronavirus strain. Miami-Dade officials announced an emergency order for the closure of all restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and any establishment with seating for more than eight people. The establishments can still operate their kitchen for food deliveries.
No. 3 – DeSantis also announced that all school testing would be canceled for the rest of the school year.
Schools won't resume classes on campuses until at least April 15. Students will continue to do virtual learning while campuses are closed. School districts should be prepared to extend their educational calendars through June 30, to the extent feasible and necessary, Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said.
No. 4 - A community health center in Miami-Dade says it will start offering its patients drive-through testing for coronavirus.
Testing will start Wednesday at Community Health of South Florida, Inc.'s Doris Ison Health Center on SW 216th Street and 103rd Court. Testing will occur through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Patients should call 305-252-4820 before coming to the health center.
No. 5 - Joe Biden cruised to victory over Bernie Sanders in Florida's Democratic Presidential primary Tuesday held amid mounting fears over the coronavirus outbreak.
NBC News projected Biden the winner of the primary when statewide polls closed at 8 p.m. Election officials across Florida scrambled to run Tuesday's presidential primary as smoothly as possible amid the coronavirus outbreak, making last-minute changes to consolidate voting sites as poll workers dropped out.
No. 6 – Weatherwise, South Florida's warming trend continues with drops of rain few and far between for much of the rest of the week. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.