It’s Wednesday, September 2nd – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he will lift the state’s ban on visiting nursing homes that has cut off vulnerable seniors from family since mid-March over fears of spreading the new coronavirus.
DeSantis said he would lift the ban on visitations in an executive order late Tuesday, following recommendations from a nursing home task force. The governor's order is expected to allow family members to visit their loved ones no more than two at a time, wearing protective gear including masks. Facilities would need to go 14 days without any new cases of COVID-19 among staff or residents to allow the visits. Children under the age of 18 are not yet allowed.
No. 2 - Technical issues caused by a cyber attack affected virtual learning for Miami-Dade Public Schools Tuesday, the second day in a row the school system experienced problems.
The district said their internet service was intermittently interrupted Tuesday morning but was operational by around 9:45 a.m. They said they were working with their service provider, Comcast, to determine the root cause. At a news conference, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the system was hit by a cyber attack called a distributed denial of service attack. The FBI, Secret Service and Florida Department of Law Enforcement were contacted to assist in finding whoever was behind the cyber attack, Carvalho said.
No. 3 - The Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management are severing ties with Quest Diagnostics after they said the laboratory company failed to report COVID-19 test results in a timely manner.
The department of health announced the move Tuesday after they said Quest attempted to dump nearly 75,000 results including some dating back to April. The decision to sever ties with the company was made at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said he was directing all executive agencies to sever their COVID-19 testing relationships with Quest effective immediately.
No. 4 - Postal worker representatives are concerned cost-cutting measures from the United States Postal Service over the summer have already damaged and delayed the delivery process.
The spotlight has been on the USPS since President Trump said he opposes additional money for the postal service, citing his opposition to increasing vote-by-mail. The president on one postal worker union told NBC 6 her region dismantled five local mail sorting machines because of cost-cutting measures in the spring and summer. Click here for more on that story in an investigation from NBC 6’s Phil Prazan.
No. 5 - What is it like to experience the pandemic behind bars? NBC 6 got exclusive access to some women who can help paint the picture.
Carrie Johnson was just released from the Homestead Correctional Institution last month, and she described the situation as terrifying. She says many of her fellow inmates contracted COVID-19, and she was in constant fear. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, an estimated 18% of the total prison population has tested positive for COVID-19. Click here for the story from reporter Stephanie Bertini you will see Only on 6.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida will be feeling the heat on Wednesday with high temperatures feeling like the triple digits and little rain in sight. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.