It’s Thursday, April 30th - and NBC 6 has the top stories you need to know for the day.
No. 1 - Florida’s restaurants and retail stores will be allowed to reopen Monday at 25% capacity, if the local government allows it, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday, as the state begins the slow climb from the economic abyss caused by the coronavirus.
The governor specifically excluded hard-hit, heavily populated Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, saying their businesses will begin phase one when it is safer. DeSantis will also allow hospitals and surgical centers to restart nonessential, elective procedures — but only if they have sufficient medical supplies and agree to help nursing homes and assisted living facilities prevent and respond to coronavirus outbreaks.
No. 2 - Fort Lauderdale will open their first drive-thru coronavirus testing site Thursday allowing residents to get tested during the pandemic.
The site opens at 9 a.m. at the Holiday Park located at Sunrise Boulevard and Northeast 10th Avenue and is open to anyone over the age of 18 years old. No symptoms are necessary to be tested, but you do need to make an appointment before you can take the test. To make an appointment, call 1-800-209-7919.
No. 3 - Frustrations continue to mount for people searching for answers on whether to reapply or file an appeal after being denied unemployment benefits.
On Wednesday the Department of Economic Opportunity reported close to 40% of applicants were deemed ineligible for state unemployment benefits. A spokesperson with the DEO stating in an email to NBC 6 Responds, “Many individuals who were denied are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). To be eligible for PUA, you must first be denied Reemployment Assistance at the state level.”
No. 4 - A dark, hooded figure may soon be descending on Florida beaches - and he hopes to scare away beachgoers flocking to the sand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Daniel Uhlfelder, an attorney in Santa Rosa, plans to dress up as the Grim Reaper starting Friday hoping the menacing getup will ward off visitors as parts of the Sunshine State - including beaches and parks - begin to reopen. Beaches in Miami-Dade and Broward are not yet open, but other counties around the state - including Okaloosa, Hernando, Flagler, Pasco, Duval and Monroe - have started opening up their beaches.
No. 5 - One of the best known rappers of the early 1990s stepped up to help a special needs teacher on Florida’s Treasure Coast in desperate need of repairs to her home during the pandemic.
Robert Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice, covered the $10,000 bill for Lana Watson to get the repairs done to the roof and side walls of her Port Saint Lucie home through his construction company. Van Winkle said he wanted to help out someone he says does so much in her job. Watson, who is a lung cancer survivor, just celebrated her birthday this week.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, make sure your umbrella is nearby Thursday as the latest front brings muggy conditions and wet weather starting by the afternoon. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.